Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Op. 35
The story goes that Tchaikovsky once had a childhood nightmare in which he was violently being rubbed against a giant brick of rosin, and this resulted in an uneasy relationship with the violin throughout his life. This isn’t to say Tchaikovsky couldn’t write for the instrument – it’s clear in his symphonies and ballet music that he could employ the violin beautifully. But even in reality, the composer had mistrust in the instrument and even violinists: one time a concertmaster sucker-punched Tchaikovsky during the premiere of Swan Lake. Maybe this is why Tchaikovsky composed only one Violin Concerto, or as the composer himself stated, “one too many.” And despite Tchaikovsky’s disdain for the violin, the Violin Concerto instantly found a place in the repertory of violin music.