Schillings, Max von


Schillings, Max von

Violin Concerto Op. 25, including authorized abridgements by the composer

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Max von Schillings – Violin Concerto Op. 25 (1909)

(b. Düren, 19 April 1868 – d. Berlin, 24 July 1933)

I Allegro energico (p. 3) – Solo Cadenza – Tempo (very rapid) (p. 41)
II Andante con espressione (p. 46)
III Allegro con brio (p. 62)

The Violin Concerto Op. 25, written in 1909, is Max von Schillings’s main orchestral work between his well-known operas ‘Moloch’ and ‘Mona Lisa’. Without cuts, it lasts a good 45 minutes, and Schillings brought the full sum of his art and care to bear here. That the concerto had no lasting success and is known today only to connoisseurs – and hardly to violinists – as a ‘niche work’ may be regretted, but it is not surprising, for it is neither popular in character nor revolutionary in style. In the fall of 1908, Schillings, a former student of the then highly respected composer Caspar Joseph Brambach and the violinist and conductor Otto von Königslöw, and mentor of the young Wilhelm Furtwängler, had taken up the post of General Music Director at the Royal Opera House in Stuttgart, which at the same time entailed the direction of the Hofcapelle Concerts. This serious task, which he was to serve until 1918 after his elevation to the peerage in 1912, naturally also meant that he had less time for composing than before.

That fall, Schillings was also a guest of the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne, where he listened with fascination to the song of the oriole in the park, from which he developed the main melodies of his violin concerto. But at first he left the new work undone, only to set to work on it intensively the following year. He had heard the original version of Jean Sibelius’s violin concerto in Berlin several years ago, and his understanding of it was very limited: “It undoubtedly offers the solo instrument a beautiful, interesting task […] The invention, however, seems to me low, and in some places it seems unstylish, cloying and nivellated. Where Sibelius strikes his Nordic-rhapsodic tone, I sympathize; but the Chopin-Liszt phraseology, which fills broad passages in all three movements, has an unsympathetic effect on me.” One might have wished Schillings a little more uninhibited flow in his own works! …


Full preface / Ganzes Vorwort > HERE

Score No.



Repertoire Explorer


Violin & Orchestra


210 x 297 mm





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