Henryk Wieniawski

Concerto No. 2 for Violin in D minor, op. 22

            Born into a distinguished family of Polish musicians, Wieniawski was the toast of the world of eminent violinists in the middle of the nineteenth century. Today, as with most virtuosos who composed modestly, his name is familiar mainly to violinists, who play his formidable etudes and salon works.  The significant exception, though, is his second concerto for violin and orchestra—a mainstay of that repertoire.  If anyone may be said to have played himself to death, it is surely he.  For his life consisted, from an early age, of incessant touring that would exhaust anyone, not to speak of one with fatal heart disease.