The Sibelius violin concerto has a rather troubled history. In fact, the version we call 'the Sibelius violin concerto' is a revision of the original 1904 manuscript, due to bad reception at its premiere.

Sibelius didn't want it ever to be played in public again, but five years ago Maxim Vengerov was given permission to play it:

Maxim Vengerov will perform the original scoring of Sibelius Violin Concerto in D Minor Op. 47 with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and conductor Nicholas Carter on Saturday November 28th, 2015 at 7.30pm at the QPAC Concert Hall, in Brisbane.

There is this short introductory excerpt on YouTube:

but is the full version recorded either as mp3 or on video and available for the public to watch/listen to?

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Based on this article reviewing recordings of the Sibelius Violin Concerto in The Strad...

a disc by Leonidas Kavakos and Sibelius cyclist Osmo Vänskä that pairs the familiar 1905 revised concerto with the hitherto-unrecorded original 1903-4 version (emphasis mine)

...and the Wikipedia entry for the concerto...

It was unknown to the world at large until 1991, when Sibelius's heirs permitted one live performance and one recording, on the BIS record label; both were played by Leonidas Kavakos and conducted by Osmo Vänskä.

...and this article about the Queensland Symphony's 2015 season...

One of world’s great violinist, the one and only Maxim Vengerov will appear with the QSO in an historic performance of the original 1903/04 Sibelius Violin Concerto.

“The QSO is amongst the select few of world orchestras to have permission to present this work in 2015 for the composer’s sesquicentenary.

The original version has never been allowed out of Finland or a recording studio, and this concert represents its Southern Hemisphere premiere, performed by the master no less,” said Ms Galaise.

...combined with the absence of a Sibelius recording in Vengerov's catalog since 2009, it seems that his performance of the 1904 original is not released.

There is a video of the original performed by Ilja Gringolts at the Sibelius Festival. https://www.classiclive.com/sibelius-violin-concerto-original-full-video

  • 1
    That is absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much, this is incredibly interesting to listen to. It's a very different tonality I think. Oct 10, 2020 at 9:50
  • 1
    And the Nokia ringtone goes off at ~30.45 - I'd forgotten that! Oct 10, 2020 at 9:50

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