List of Works || Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1951-4)

1. Allegro con moto
2. Andante cantabile
3. Allegro

Solo Violin, Flute (2), Oboe (2), Clarinet (2), Bassoon (2), Horn (2), Trumpet (2), Timpani, Strings, Violin (s), Viola (s), Cello (s), Bass (es)

Duration: 27 minutes

First Performance: 30 May 1955, Toronto; CBC broadcast, Albert Pratz, CBC Symphony Orchestra, Ettore Mazzoleni

By the 1950s, Weinzweig had become a leader in the Canadian music scene, having co-founded the Canadian League of Composers in 1951. During this time, Weinzweig began work on this first of three concertos: the Violin Concerto. The orchestration creates a transparent texture, as Weinzweig composes chamber-like groupings and infrequent tutti sections to allow the solo violin to remain prominent.

Weinzweig explains: “The concerto is a serial work with a new tone-row for each movement. These direct the melodic shapes and only occasionally the harmony. Thus tonality is more in evidence than pan-tonality. It must have been the neo-classic spirit in me that, after weighing the ‘floating’ and Goliath manner of the late 19th Century, I chose a compromise. It seemed to promise the kind of proportion with clarity more suitable for my lyric intentions.” As Weinzweig’s own statement indicates, despite his adherence to serialism, his neoclassical approach to form and texture places him firmly alongside Copland, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky.

Written by Alexa Woloshyn