A Complete Analysis of The Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Opus 26

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The Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Opus 26 is one of the most famous violin concertos over the musical history. It is also considered to be the most renowned work by the German composer Max Bruch. I will begin with a short explanation of why I choose to analyse this piece followed by what makes this piece so remarkable. I will then present the musical context – German Romantic period – in which this piece was composed and discuss how it is representative of this period. Also, I will present briefly the biography of the composer and relate his life and style with this particular piece of music. After, I will explain the basic structure of a concerto, associate it with this violin concerto, and analyse how each movement is related. Then, I will analyse some psychoacoustic parameters of this piece (pitch, dynamics, rhythm, and texture). Finally, I will give my appreciation of this piece in term of beauty, musical expression, and mood.


Personal. An insightful analysis and understanding of a piece of music could lead me to play it with the emotions that the composer wants to express. As I may do a grade 10 RCM examination in two years, I chose to analyse this piece from the syllabus because it is among the best violin concertos and the most representative work of its composer. Also, as a member of the Westmount Youth Orchestra, I have played the tutti part of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Opus 64 and I find it very beautiful. As these two concertos are so much related (same country and same musical period), Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1 arouses my curiosity.

Historical. This brilliant composition is considered as one of the two most important violin concertos of the German Romantic period, with Mendelssohn’s vi...

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...ld, Chirstopher. Max Bruch: His Life and Works. 2nd ed. Woodridge: Boydell, 2005. Print.

Kenyon, Nicholas. “Max Bruch (1838-1920).” The BBC Proms Pocket Guide to Great Concertos. London: Faber and Faber, 2003. 60-62. Print.

Lee, M. Owen. “Max Bruch: 1938-1920.” The Great Instrumental Works. Pompton Plains (NJ): Amadeus, 2005. 168-69. Print.

Samson, Jim. "Romanticism." Grove Music Online. Web. 5 Nov. 2011. .

Veinus, Abraham. “Max Bruch: 1838-1920.” Victor Book of Concertos. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1948. 115-119. Print.

Webster, James. "Sonata Form." Grove Music Online. Web. 5 Nov. 2011. .

Wharram, Barbara. Elementary Rudiments of Music. Ed. Kathleen Wood. 2nd ed. Mississauga, Ont.: Frederick Harris Music, 2010. Print.

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