That unmistakable timpani intro… those soaring, yet gnarly passages… it could only be the inimitable Beethoven Violin Concerto!

Check out this performance from 2006 of Maxim Vengerov, performing at the Herkulesaal in Munich with the Bavarian Radio Symphony and the late Mariss Jansons.

Beethoven’s only violin concerto was premiered in 1806 by a leading violinist of the day, Franz Clement. However, the first performance was not a success, with some reports that Clement was sightreading part of the concerto due to Beethoven not completing the piece in time!

The work fell into obscurity until 1844, when it was revived by 12-year-old violinist Joseph Joachim, who performed it with the London Philharmonic Society under the baton of Felix Mendelssohn.