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Making his concert debut in Brussels at the age of eight, and with an equally successful concerto appearance in Paris the following year, Henry Vieuxtemps was hailed as the successor to the great Paganini. Eager to add to his violin repertoire, he was to compose seven concertos, the technical demands made on the soloist reflecting his own brilliant technique. The First Concerto, which came second in order of composition, was premiered to great success in St. Petersburg in 1840, and was soon performed throughout Europe. The Fourth was completed eleven years later, and drew from Berlioz the comment, “a magnificent symphony for orchestra with principal violin”, reflecting the desire of Vieuxtemps to elevate his concertos to works of symphonic proportions.
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VIEUXTEMPS, H.: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 4