for violin and orchestra

Maya Badian
Maya Badian
Composition Date: 1980
Duration: 00:17:00
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Orchestra with Soloist, Violin(s)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Violin ( Solo )
  • 1 x Full orchestra
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Programme Note:
Quote from, “Maya Badian, Her Life and Her Music: A Privilege to Soar” by Popovici, Fred, published by Pro Ars Publications, Ottawa, Canada, 2010:

"The French violin virtuoso Jean-Jacques Kantorow (1945-) commissioned Maya Badian to compose a violin concerto, taking in consideration his virtuosity. In immediately accepting this commission to compose a 20th-century concerto for violin, Badian considered that it would be joining a huge and well-known body of existing repertoire.
The VIOLIN CONCERTO by Maya Badian is cast in a three-movement form: I.- Prelude; II.- Fugue and Choral; III.- Sonata -, blending unusual fantasia-like cadenzas with a fugue, and ending with a contemporary sonata finale. The result is a virtuoso concerto for the solo violinist with fascinating orchestral components.
I.- Prelude, the first movement, is introduced by a solo cadenza, ad libitum, unusually coupled with timpani, and continues with a dialogue between alto-saxophone and the solo violin. This dialogue is a reflection of the introduction and is based on a free retrograde inversion of the thematic material in the cadenza. It is orchestrated with a parallel dialogue/trialogue between three orchestral groups - the strings, the brass, and the woodwinds.
The strings enter first, followed by the brass and finally the woodwinds. The central portion of this opening movement is based on the idea of mixing polyphony with heterophony. As it develops, thematic material recalling the initial cadenza is used in the polyphonic texture. A closing cadenza, mirroring the opening cadenza, features again the solo instrument but this time accompanied by a snare-drum instead of the timpani.
II.- Fugue and Choral, the second movement, is a strict, classically structured Fugue in Allegro (reminiscent of Badian’s Chamber Concerto for Horn and Percussion), followed by a Choral in Adagio, molto legato, molto espressivo, and concluding with a Coda in Allegro. The timpani present the Fugue’s subject (based on a minor third), answered first by marimba (based on a major third), and then by tom-toms (undetermined pitches). At this point, the solo instrument makes its appearance with a dramatic vox vagans (ethereal voice). The movement continues with a counter-exposition using sequential statements of the theme in the low strings and based on the minor third, while the solo violin continues its ethereal voice in a high register. The high strings and orchestral percussion join and build together in a crescendo that finally pauses with a fermata. Rather than using a traditional development, Badian introduces here a surprising feature in the form of a lovely brass Choral. The vox vagans violin solo continues to soar above the brass instruments’ smooth passage. This leads to an extended Coda, a unifying full orchestral restatement of the fugal material, conceived as a blend of all the thematic material presented in this movement.
III.- Sonata, the final movement, is written in sonata form. This is different from most concertos of the past, which use sonata form for the first movement. There are no pauses between the movements of this three-part Concerto. At the close of the second movement, under the final fortissimo chord, the violin plays a high note, with a huge crescendo. This serves as a bridge introducing the opening of the III.- Finale, Allegro giocoso e spirituoso, the third and last movement. Under the brilliant dance-like solo violin subject, the piano presents a staccato chromatic descending line in its lowest register accompanied by cellos and double-basses pizzicati. After this opening, there is a bridge passage featuring a powerful rhythmic piano figure combined with the original violin subject now presented by the orchestra. An ad libitum passage for the solo violin prepares the second subject that, based on long held notes and smooth phrases, contrasts with the first subject. On closer examination, this subject, presented by the entire orchestra, is both an augmentation and a mirror of the melodic and rhythmic opening subject. It becomes an aural puzzle for the listener. The development is replaced in this work by a brief interlude assigned to the percussion section, reminding the listener of the fugal material from the second movement and thus connecting this sonata with the previous movements. At this point, the recapitulation contains an orchestral distillation of all of the elements earlier presented in this movement. The conclusion of the entire Concerto is structured in two sections - the first movement, cadenza, now orchestrated as a dialogue between different instruments, followed by the formal fugal material presented superimposed and brilliantly blended, by both the solo violin and the orchestra.”

Premiere Information:
16 June 1980, Brasov, Romania
Varujan Cozighian, violin; Brasov Symphony Orchestra; Ilarion Ionescu Galati, conductor.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1311 B136co
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Orchestra with Soloist, Violin(s)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • September 20, 1992
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score;
    76 Pages
    Height: 23 cm
    Width: 30 cm
    Parts page count: 181
    1 solo part (13 p.);
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 23 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Manuscript deposited in the Fonds Maya-Badian MUS 228, Music Division, Library and Archives Canada.
    Commissioned by: Jean Jacques Kantorow, French violinist
    Violin solo/2-2-3(bcl)-2-asax/3-3-3-1/timp-perc(3)/str
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