Violin Concerto in A major (Badley A2) [Study Edition]
Year of Publication:
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Piano Reduction: Stapled / Parts: Unbound
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A near contemporary and rival of Haydn, Leopold Hofmann was held in the highest regard in his native Vienna where he served as Kapellmeister at St Stephens Cathedral, a position to which Mozart might have succeeded had he lived. During the 1760s and early 1770s, the years of his greatest fame and productivity, Hofmann wrote around sixty concertos including at least eight for the violin. Although no documented accounts of Hofmann performing his own violin concertos are known, there can be little doubt that some of these works were composed for his own use. Hofmann's reputation both as a composer of violin music and as a teacher of the instrument stood high in his own lifetime and it would be surprising in the circumstances if he had written nothing to display his talents as a performer. The composer and critic Johann Adam Hiller admired Hofmann's violin writing, preferring his concertos to those of Dittersdorf and his knowledge of the works suggests that they were well known outside Vienna during the 1760s. The paucity of extant copies, however, suggests that they may not have circulated as widely as the composer's symphonies. The present work was advertised in Supplement I (1766) of the Breitkopf Catalogue and is the earliest of Hofmanns violin concertos that can be dated although perhaps not the first work of its kind that he composed. The solo writing is very fine; technically interesting and full of surprise turns, it bears eloquent testimony to Hofmanns mastery of the instrument and his importance as a composer of concertos.