5 Songs


About Joseph Joachim

Recordings of Joachim's playing in the latter years of his life illustrate lapses in intonation; however, this was not the case throughout most of his life. As a performer Joachim was playing duets with his teachers as early as the age of nine. He learned with Serwaczynski, the leading Pest violinist, as well as Hauser, Hellmesberger and Bohm in Vienna. In Leipzig Joachim studied with Mendelssohn at the recently founded conservatory; he felt Mendelssohn's influence throughout his career. Both compositionally and in reference to performing, Joachim was indebted to the bel canto style of Viotti, Rode and Kreutzer and was not impressed with the music of the new German school. He had strong relations with both Liszt and Brahms but eventually had musical or personal failings with them, respectively. Joachim was a constant advocate, however, of Brahms' music. Having appeared in concert in England in 1844 he made annual concert trips there impressing audiences with Brhams' music, his own playing virtuosity and conducting skill. He felt that true musicianship and integrity to the music were more important than machine-like technique and each performance he gave accordingly became a learning experience for his audience. Between 1852 and 1868 Joachim was the violinist to King George V; this is important as most of his important compositions were written in Hanover. They demonstrate skill in construction and orchestration but a lack of creative intensity. The technical difficulties, expected of a virtuostic performer, give no credibility to the talents of a performer. ~ Keith Johnson

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