Henri Vieuxtemps, the Belgian violinist, composer and teacher Henri Vieuxtemps was one of the most outstanding virtuosos of his era, equally as gifted as Henryk Wieniawski. He initially learned violin with his father, who was an amateur violinist, before studying with Charles Bériot at the Brussels Conservatory. At the age of six, he performed a concerto by Pierre Rode. He performed across Europe, including in Poland, and made several tours of the United States, enjoying huge success wherever he appeared. He dazzled audiences with the brilliant technique, bravura and elegance of his playing. From 1846 to 1852, he was court violinist to Tsar Nicholas I. Another famous Belgian violinist, Eugène Ysaÿe, was among his pupils.
Vieuxtemps was one of the eight violinists to whom Paganini presented a Stradivari violin from his own collection before his death.
Analysing and assessing his composition style, one cannot resist the impression of a similarity to the style of Paganini, which Vieuxtemps developed and enhanced with new techniques and sonorities and with truly inspired melody.
Henri Vieuxtemps was a remarkably productive composer who wrote seven violin concertos, concert etudes, two viola sonatas and a dozen or so chamber works, yet the bulk of his output consists of works for violin and piano. (Legend has it that one of those works, a Ballade and Polonaise, was actually written by Henryk Wieniawski, who lost it to the Belgian virtuoso… in a game of cards.)
Vieuxtemps’s favourite musical form was the then fashionable fantasy on themes from well-known operas, of which he left us quite a number. The Romance originally composed for violin and piano is based on a theme from Stanisław Moniuszko’s national opera Halka (Jontek’s famous aria ‘Szumią jodły na gór szczycie’ [The firs sough on the mountain top]. The present edition is based on Zdzisław Jahnke’s 1952 edition.
This work gives the player the opportunity to display a beautiful tone and proficiency in both the left and right hand; it is also a marvellous exercise in rubato playing. Intended for first-year pupils of secondary schools of music. I am certain that young violists will gladly add this striking composition to their repertoire, thereby helping to celebrate Moniuszko Year 2019.
Tłumaczenie John Comber
- ISMN 979-0-2740-2851-0
- Language of edition: eng, pol
- Cover: softcover
- No. of edition: 2
- Published: 2020
solo part (instrumental) + accompaniment