Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61
As did so many of his works, Beethoven’s only violin concerto, premiered in 1806, changed the scale and perception of the form; its first movement, at about 25 minutes in duration, would accommodate some of Mozart’s in their entirety. But it’s not just about length. Beethoven’s work has symphonic ambitions, and its message is altogether weightier. It is, perhaps, the first great Romantic violin concerto, and its masterpiece status comes across impressively in Itzhak Perlman and Carlo Maria Giulini’s Gramophone- and Grammy Award-winning 1981 recording. Playing with his customary style and flair, Perlman is wonderfully expressive yet also highly dramatic, and Giulini is a superb partner. A classic recording.