If you take the most famous solos for a given instrument of the orchestra, you’ll find a vivid character emerges — a character with a magical story to tell. That’s the idea behind Orchestral Tales, Season 3 of the award-winning Signature Series.
To hear the violin’s tale, click on the Soundcloud play button below. Scroll down for a complete list of the featured compositions.
Read more about the violin’s characteristics below.
Patron instrument of:
Compassion, independence, performance.
Violin-like fictional characters:
- Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series.
- Lyra Belacqua from The Golden Compass.
1 violin clip to watch before you die:
When one of the best violinists alive is Canadian, why look anywhere else? James Ehnes plays Johann Sebastian Bach’s immortal Chaconne from the Partita No. 2 for Solo Violin:
3 immortal violin moments in pop culture:
1. That time one of the world’s top violinists (Joshua Bell) played anonymously in a Washington, D.C., subway station:
2. The soaring musical bridge by the entire violin section in Ben E. King’s classic, “Stand By Me.”
3. The violin solo by 9-year-old Christoph Koncz as Kaspar Weiss in the movie The Red Violin.
1 reason to play the violin:
Because it’s the violin.
(A few) famous violinists you should know about:
- Niccoló Paganini.
- Itzhak Perlman.
- Laurie Anderson.
- Isaac Stern.
- Rachel Barton Pine.
- Yehudi Menuhin.
- Sarah Chang.
- James Ehnes.
- Jascha Heifetz.
- Fritz Kreisler.
- Stéphane Grappelli.
Pieces heard in The Violin’s Tale (in order of first appearance):
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, second movement.
- Sibelius: Violin Concerto, first movement.
- Grieg: Holberg Suite, fifth movement.
- Beethoven: Violin Concerto, third movement.
- Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, first movement.
- Sibelius: Violin Concerto, third movement.
- Vivaldi: Winter, first movement, from The Four Seasons.
- Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances, first movement.
- Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, fourth movement.
- Mendelssohn: Overture from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
- Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending.
- Stravinsky: "Berceuse" from The Firebird.
- Copland: Appalachian Spring.
- Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, third movement.
- Brahms: Violin Concerto, third movement.