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Jörg Widmann’s Violin Concerto No.2: The voice of the violin

As a composer, Jörg Widmann has a special relationship with both the violin and the violin concerto. He has said, “The violin concerto as a genre is ‘holy’ to me, to which the most personal is entrusted. This is especially true for my concerto, as it is dedicated to my sister. The lyrical tone of the violin acts as a mouthpiece for the most diverse of human emotions.”

On 31 August, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra will premiere Widmann’s Violin Concerto No.2 at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, with Widmann himself conducting and his sister Carolin Widmann as soloist.

Violin Concerto No.2: A bearer of emotion

Widmann’s Violin Concerto No.2 consists of three movements. The first movement is titled Una ricerca and portrays the solo violin in search of its own unique voice, while the orchestra plays only occasionally to hint at figures that will be developed in the subsequent movements of the concerto. In Romanze, the second movement and also the largest, the composer traverses a broad range of emotions in the music, from soft and lyrical to harsh and loud, though the violin remains the dominant instrument. The agitation of the second movement then culminates in the third movement Mobile, which accelerates to an extremely fast, driving tempo.

Timbres and harmony are central to Widmann’s musical thinking. The composer has described his compositional style as a perpetual playful variation, inspired by a broad range of sound and colour.

Further performances of Widmann’s Violin Concerto No.2 will take place on 26 & 27 September in Paris with the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Daniel Harding, and on 14 December at Alte Oper Frankfurt, where Andrés Orozco-Estrada will conduct the hr-Sinfonieorchester.


© photo: Suntory Hall PR