violin concerto no. 1
Duration ca. 23'
Commissioned by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, National Symphony of Mexico, Mr. Robert Kent Scott and Mr. Jeremiah German.
Premiered by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra conducted by Markand Thakar, soloist Charles Wetherbee, Columbus, OH, November 19-20, 2005.
Other performances: Baltimore Chamber Orchestra conducted by Markand Thakar, soloist Charles Wetherbee, February 8, 2006; October 17, 2006; Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico conducted by Enrique Diemecke, soloist Charles Wetherbee, June 23-25, 2006; National Repertory Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Falletta, soloist Charles Wetherbee, August 2, 2006; Kyoto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Junichi Hirokami, soloist Charles Wetherbee, August 7, 2007; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Falletta, soloist Charles Wetherbee, October 29, 2008; Orquesta de Extremadura conducted by Ann Manson, soloist Charles Wetherbee, November 21 & 22, 2008; Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia conducted by Laura Jackson, soloist Charles Wetherbee, April 19, 2009; Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra conducted by Markand Thakar, soloist Charles Wetherbee, May 19, 2012; Amarillo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Markand Thakar, soloist Charles Wetherbee, November 16-17, 2012.
The Violin Concerto could well be a significant addition to the instrument’s repertoire... Labels like to push their hot new composers, and after a while, one gets skeptical over this or that so-called discovery. Leshnoff, however, is excitingly “the real thing”, and I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more from and about him in years to come.
—Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare Magazine, July, 2009
The music of Jonathan Leshnoff (b. 1973) falls squarely in the middle of contemporary American romanticism. Its melodic lines are quite distinct, its harmonics balanced, its depth given by the composer’s mastery of both counterpoint and colorful orchestration. Though richly tonal, this is music quite distinct from anything else that’s out there at the moment.
—Strings Magazine, June, 2009
…Considering the growing number of prestigious commissions for and performances of his music, the BCO (Baltimore Chamber Orchestra) was lucky to get him…the selections on this disc…have an emotional depth and sincerity that give them immediate listener appeal.
—Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost and Found, May 11, 2009
Jonathan Leshnoff’s Violin Concerto struck me as a major addition to the repertoire when I first heard it in 2006. I’m even more convinced of that quality, having revisited the work on an all-Leshnoff CD from the Naxos label... The concerto is richly layered and almost painfully beautiful; the violin’s soaring, searing lyricism in the second movement and haunted introspection in the finale are but two examples.
—Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun, April 2, 2009
Here is where Leshnoff excels. It’s hard to think of a recent work that can compare to the length of his melodic lines in this concerto, or to their radiant beauty.
—Robert O’Reilly, InsideCatholic.com, March 31, 2009
The rich repertoire for violin and orchestra got richer with a work by Leshnoff. His Violin Concerto... is remarkably assured, cohesively constructed and radiantly lyrical... The concerto has imagination, integrity and heart. You can't ask much more of any composition.
—Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun, February 11, 2006
Jonathan Leshnoff’s music can be boldly dissonant or hauntingly lyrical, wildly animated or intriguingly contemplative. His new Violin Concerto is all of those things.
—Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun, January 1, 2006
The new concerto strikes one as thoughtful and intricate yet economical. Having heard much of it in rehearsal Thursday, I can say the piece grows on you and its themes quickly become familiar and welcome by the ear. I’d like to hear it again.
—Barbara Zuck, The Columbus Dispatch, November 19, 2005