Gil Shaham. via

It is a peculiarity of the violin’s history that the most cherished solo works in the repertoire came outside the rough boundaries of the instrument’s “golden period.” The years between 1775 and 1904 saw a remarkable flourishing of the violin canon, in the form of five concerti by Mozart and the five pantheonic concerti by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Beethoven, and Brahms. These latter two also contributed a total of thirteen sonatas for violin and piano that remain essential items of the chamber repertoire.

Yet somehow, even as the violin and its...

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