- Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
- Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77
Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto is another one of those popular favorites whose originality and perfection are taken for granted. Although it's in three distinct movements, Mendelssohn attempted to create the impression of a concise, unbroken whole -- one of the first concertos so constructed. But within the tight structure, the music also offers a variety of moods: The first movement is lyrical and melancholy, the second movement is a sweet, slow song, and the finale is a sparkling and feather-light display of virtuosity. Brahms's Violin Concerto is pitched at a higher level of emotional intensity. The young German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter doesn't really get to show off as she does in the last movement of the Mendelssohn, but this music requires a musician with impeccable technique and the ability to keep the melodic line tautly strung. Mutter has technique to burn, a gorgeous, glamorous sound, and phenomenal musical maturity -- especially considering that she was barely out of her teens when these recordings were made.