I began my day today by listening to the Violin Concerto in D by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, as played by Leonidas Kavakos. The concerto was composed in 1946, just as the Second World War was ending.
Korngold had Previously mostly composed music for movies, but the Violin Concerto was written after violinist Bronisław Huberman asked the composer to do so.
The concerto was dedicated to Alma Mahler, the widow of Korngold’s childhood mentor Gustav Mahler. It was premiered on 15 February 1947 by Jascha Heifetz and the St. Louis Symphony under conductor Vladimir Golschmann. Yes, that performance put this concerto on the map, and violinists have performed it ever since.
I especially enjoyed the warm melodies of the second movement. Since the new recording will not be issued until February, 2016, here is the second movement as played by Mr. Kavakos that I heard this morning: