Violin Concerto in D, Op. 77

The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, was composed by Johannes Brahms in 1878 and dedicated to his friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. It is Brahms's only violin concerto, and, according to Joachim, one of the four great German violin concerti. It is scored for solo violin and an orchestra consisting of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons; 4 horns in D, F, and E, 2 trumpets in D, timpani, and strings. It follows the standard concerto form, with three movements in the pattern quick-slow-quick. Some of the discarded material was reworked for the second piano concerto. The most familiar cadenza, which appears in the first movement, is by Joachim, though a number of people have provided alternatives. Various modifications were made between then and the work's publication by Fritz Simrock later in the year. Critical reaction to the work was mixed: the canard that the work was not so much for violin as "against the violin" is attributed equally to conductor Hans von Bülow and to Joseph Hellmesberger, to whom Brahms entrusted the Vienna premiere, which was however rapturously received by the public. Henryk Wieniawski called the work "unplayable", and the violin virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate refused to play it because he didn't want to "stand on the rostrum, violin in hand and listen to the oboe playing the only tune in the adagio. The technical demands on the soloist are formidable, with generous use of multiple stopping, broken chords, rapid scale passages, and rhythmic variation. 

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