2/8 Today in Weird Music History: 1904. The first version of Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto has a rough premiere. Many possible explanations can be posed as to why the piece did not go well, including Sibelius’ alcoholism, an ill-prepared soloist (Victor Novacek), and not enough rehearsal time. Interestingly, the revised version, premiered in 1905 by violinist Karl Halir with Richard Strauss conducting, was also unsuccessful. Thus, Sibelius’ only concerto remained largely unknown until championed by Jascha Heifetz in the 1930s. Today it is recognized as a top-shelf concerto and an audience favorite.
Today in Weird Music History: Future Masterpiece, Failed Premiere.