Two Unique Characteristics of the Brahms Violin Concerto’s Slow Movement

As I have stated many times, I believe the Johannes Brahms violin concerto is right up there with, in my opinion, the four greatest violin concertos ever composed: the Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Mendelssohn.  I put those in no special order, but would probably lean to the exciting Tchaikovsky concerto as being #1.

Johannes Brahms [1833 – 1897] German Romantic Era composer/pianist

The Brahms D-Major concerto has a beautiful slow movement that has two very unique aspects to it.  One, it has a prolonged Oboe solo in the introduction that plays the major theme.  If you never heard this piece before and just heard that long solo by the Oboe, you might even think this was an Oboe concerto. I have a feeling when the Brahms Concerto is put on a symphony orchestra’s concert schedule, the principal Oboist’ adrenaline is pumped up with anticipation.

The second unique aspect in this movement is that the violin soloist never actually plays the whole theme introduced by the Oboe.  The violinist only plays a variation of that theme.  Even when the Oboe comes back in the recapitulation to play the beginning of the major theme, the violin again only answers with a variation of the theme.  I think there are very few concerti where the soloist never actually plays the major theme of the movement.  

Listen for that as you view and hear the wonderful second movement Adagio.  While the concerto is scored in D-Major, the second movement is in F-Major.

Please turn up the volume play in full screen, and enjoy the beautiful second movement of the Brahms Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D-Major. In this You Tube video, virtuoso violinist, [sorry for the slight glitch in the video at the 1:56 mark]

Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D Major, Movement 2, Adagio:

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