The Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto is one of the most technically demanding pieces in the repertoire. Any guitarist or violinist must possess not only a technical command of his instrument, but also much patience and a willingness to invest many many hours in practice. The payoff, of course, is well worth the effort. Several technical discussions of the piece are provided here that will hopefully shed some performance insight to the guitarist. Each item covers a different section that requires special attention above and beyond the normal difficulties. Many sections are completely applicable to other parts of the piece and the techniques learned in one can be applied to another.
The piece itself is fraught with all sorts of mental and emotional angst and you can indeed hear a wide range of emotions throughout the piece. Check out the Wikipedia article on the piece which provides an overview of the genesis of the piece as well as the famous controversy between the various violinists who consulted on the piece and were slated to give the first performance. Perhaps back then, Tchaikovsky may have imagined that with such negativity surrounding his new piece that it never would succeed in the repertoire. Well, fortunately, masterpieces endure the quibbles and foibles of every day life and today it’s taken it’s rightful place among the great Romantic violin concertos.
Listen. Want an even better introduction to Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece? You’re in luck! For a fantastic introduction to Tchaikovksy’s Violin Concerto, I recommend Rachel Barton Pine’s podcast on the piece. You won’t be disappointed.