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date: 28 February 2020

Joachim, Josephfree

  • Beatrix Borchard
  • , revised by Katharina Uhde

(b Kitsee, nr Pressburg [now Bratislava], June 28, 1831; d Berlin, Aug 15, 1907). Austro-Hungarian violinist, composer, conductor, and teacher. He was born on the Esterházy estates into a Jewish family which moved in 1833 to Pest. His talent was recognized at an early age and systematically nurtured. His first teacher was the leader of the Pest Opera Orchestra, Serwaczyński, with whom Joachim made his public début at the Adelskasino in Pest, on March 17, 1839. He went to Vienna to play first for Hauser and then for Georg Hellmesberger the elder, and took lessons from Joseph Böhm, a former pupil of Rode, himself taught by Viotti, both of whom adhered to the classical French school.

By the age of 12 his technique was fully developed, and in early 1843 he began studying with Mendelssohn in Leipzig. The meeting with Mendelssohn was so decisive for the young Joachim that his life can be understood in terms of a mission to promote Mendelssohn’s work. The composer arranged for Joachim to receive composition tuition from Hauptmann, and also a good general education. After a successful début playing Bériot’s Adagio and Rondo at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in August 1843, Joachim was taken by Mendelssohn to London, where he played Beethoven’s Violin Concerto to tremendous acclaim in May 1844. Thereafter the concerto was inextricably linked with Joachim and, with the exception of the Bach D minor Chaconne, it became the work he performed most often.

On Mendelssohn’s death in 1847 Joachim experienced a deep crisis. Despite being deputy leader of the Gewandhaus Orchestra and a teacher at the Leipzig Conservatory, he decided to undertake further study with Liszt in Weimar. Like Mendelssohn, Liszt spent many hours making music with Joachim, and also encouraged his composing (the Violin Concerto in G minor op.3 and the overture to Demetrius op.6 are both dedicated to Liszt). In Weimar Joachim gave his first chamber concerts, which included a performance of Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata with Hans von Bülow in 1852. From 1853 to 1868 Joachim was principal violinist at the Hanover Court, and also appeared regularly in England, Belgium, and the Netherlands; in 1855 he founded his first string quartet. The Hanover years were his most prolific as a composer, most of his 56 completed works dating from this period. Crucial events at this time included his baptism as a Lutheran, his close friendship with the Schumanns and Brahms and consequent rejection of Liszt and the New German School, his decision to abandon composing, and his marriage in 1863 to the mezzo-soprano Amalie Schneeweiss.

In 1868 Joachim and his wife moved to Berlin, where Joachim set up a school of instrumental music in the Königliche Akademie der Künste (from 1872 the Königliche Hochschule für Musik), and set his stamp on Berlin’s musical life through his work as a teacher and through his various concert series, notably his quartet recitals over a span of 40 years with colleagues from the Hochschule (see Joachim Quartet). The Hochschule grew rapidly to include an orchestra which Joachim conducted in public concerts. However, Joachim’s opposition to Liszt and Wagner during his years at the Hochschule gained the establishment a reputation as rigid and reactionary. Joachim shared his artistic outlook with Brahms, and they admired each other’s work, but with Brahms siding with Amalie when the Joachims divorced in 1884 the friendship cooled. Joachim nevertheless continued to promote Brahms’s music and was responsible for the first performances of many of Brahms’s chamber works, introducing them also to England.

Joachim’s paramount importance as an interpreter in the second half of the 19th century stems partly from his direct contact with many leading composers of the day. Like Clara Schumann among pianists, he represented a new species of ‘ascetic’ violinist, subordinating himself to the composer rather than glorying in his virtuoso technique. This philosophy drew him inevitably to chamber music. As a soloist he concentrated on just a handful of works: Bach’s solo sonatas, the violin concertos of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Viotti, and Spohr, and his own concertos, notably the Konzert in ungarischer Weise op.11. It was Joachim who initiated entire recitals devoted to string quartets, and in them he presented the entire classical repertory, from Haydn to Brahms.

The few extant recordings of Joachim’s playing, from 1903 (see illustration), document his subtle command of rubato, his long-arched phrasing, and his sparing use of vibrato. Many works were written for him, such as Schumann’s Violin Concerto and Phantasie op.131, and Brahms’s Violin Concerto (on which he collaborated) and Double Concerto. His own compositions, admired by Liszt, Schumann, and Brahms, were predominantly sombre in character. They reveal, especially in the overtures, a mastery of orchestration, and have a distinctive tone of voice – somewhere between the introspective poetry of Schumann and Liszt’s programme music; according to Tovey, Joachim defined his style using the term ‘psychological music’. His own violin concertos pose such formidable technical demands that, in spite of their musical value, they have completely disappeared from the repertory. Joachim also contributed to many musical editions, including one of the Bach solo violin sonatas.

Joseph Joachim: photograph by Johanna Eilert, 1903

Works

Joachim Works

Op.

Title

Key

Scoring

Begun

Finished

Published

Publisher

Dedication

First known performance

Autograph location

1

Klavierstückchen ‘Allegretto’

pf

July 4, 1844

2

Haideröslein (Lied, Goethe)

G

S, pf

1846

Verlag des Ungar

3

Haideröslein (Lied, Goethe), Allegretto

pf

April 4, 1850, Paris

Thérèse Wartel

US-Cn

4

Mit einem gemalten Band (Goethe)

v, pf

June 28, 1847

5

Scherzo-Presto (sonata movement)

F

vn, pf

June 1847

Fanny Russell

US-Cn

6

1

Andantino und Allegro scherzoso

a, A

vn, orch/pf

1844

1847

July 1849

Leipzig, Kistner.

Joseph Böhm

Jan 10, 1848, Leipzig

D-Hs

7

‘Im Herbst’ von Uhland, (Ruhig und innig)

A

v, pf

Dec 22, 1849

D-B

8

Fantasie über Ungarische Motive

A

vn, orch

1846

1846; rev. before Oct 1850

2018

Bärenreiter

March 22, 1846; rev. version Oct 19, 1850, Weimar

PL-ŁŹu

9

Fantasie über Irische [recte, Schottische] Motive

D

vn, orch

1850

Before May 1852

2018

Bärenreiter

May 31, 1852, London

PL-ŁŹu

10

2

Drei Stücke: Romanze, Fantasiestück, Eine Frühlingsfantasie

B♭, d, D

vn, pf

1849–52

1852

London, Ewer & Co.; Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel

Moritz Hauptmann

11

2

Drei Stücke: Romanze

arr. vn, orch

1900

D-B

12

2

Drei Stücke: Romanze

arr., pf

c1850

D-WRz

13

3

Vn Conc. no.1 ‘in einem Satze’

g

vn, orch

1851

1852

Dec 1854

Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel

Franz Liszt

June 25, 1852, London

Autograph unknown; MS copy D-Gs

14

4

Ov., for Shakespeare, Hamlet

d

orch

1851

March 16, 1853; rev. until 1854

Nov, 1854 (orch parts only); 1908 orch score

Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel

‘Den Mitgliedern der Weimarer Hofkapelle gewidmet’

Oct 27, 1853, Düsseldorf

A-Wgm

15

‘Dem stillen Hause blick’ ich zu’

v, pf

probably 1852

16

Frühling (‘Töne, liederreicher Frühling’)

S, pf

1852

W. Vobach & Co

17

arr. 4 solo vv (fragment)

D-Hs

18

Andantino dolce (Oh mich entzückts; H. Grimm, Frühling)

G

S, pf

‘Im Herbst. 1852’

D-Kl

19

5

Drei Stücke: ‘Lindenrauschen’, ‘Abendglocken,’ ‘Ballade’

C, a, A

vn, pf

Summer 1853 Göttingen

no.1, Nov 3, 1853; no.2, Nov 11, 1853; no.3, Nov 9, 1853

July, 1854

Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel

Fräulein Gisela von Arnim

May 8, 1856 Hanover (Abendglocken); Feb 19, 1894, Berlin (Abendglocken, Ballade)

D-Hs

20

6

Ov., for H. Grimm’s Demetrius

D

orch

1853

First version by Feb 1854; final version by Sept 5, 1854

‘Dem Dichter [H. Grimm] zugeeignet’

April 21, 1855 under Louis Spohr in Kassel

First version D-B; final version, A-Wgm

21

7

Ov., for Shakespeare’s, Henry IV

C

orch

1853

July 1854

JJ intended to dedicate the work to Brahms

March 24, 1855, Hanover

A-Wgm

22

Still und bewegt (cipher piece, for Gisela’s birthday)

A

pf

Aug 1854

1911 (Berlin, Bard)

Gisela von Arnim

23

Ich hab im Traum geweint(Heine)

S, pf

Oct 1854

Göttingen, Wigand

24

Sept 1872

25

June 1882

Berlin, Raabe & Plothow

26

8

Ov. ‘zu einem Gozzi’schen Lustspiel’

G

orch

First week of Nov 1854

1902

Berlin, Simrock

Fritz Steinbach

Oct 22, 1901

A-Wgm

27

9

Hebräische Melodien ‘Nach Eindrücken der Byron’schen Gesänge’

g, c, F

va, pf

1854

Summer 1854

1855

London, Ewer & Co.; Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel

Jan 12, 1856

28

10

Variationen über ein eigenes Thema

E

va, pf

Sept 1854

Dec 1854

1855

London, Ewer & Co.; Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel

Herman Grimm

Jan 12, 1856

D-Hs

29

Romance

C

vn, pf

1850

1855

Kahnt

30

Variationen über ein Irisches Elfenlied

F

pf

1856

1989

J. Schuberth, Hamburg

D-Hs

31

Versuch eines Tanzes

D

pf

1856

Gisela von Arnim

D-Hs

32

11

Vn Conc. no.2 ‘in ungarischer Weise’

d, G,

vn, orch

1857

March 1861

Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel

Johannes Brahms

First movt. April 9, 1859 Weimar, Whole concerto May 2, 1859, London

A-Wgm

33

vn, pf

1857

May 1861

Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel

34

12

Notturno

A

vn, orch

1858

July 1874

Berlin, Simrock

Gabriele von Wendheim

Jan 1, 1875, Leipzig

D-Hs

35

vn, pf

1858

July 1875

Berlin, Simrock

Gabriele von Wendheim

36

13

Elegische Ouvertüre ‘Dem Andenken des Dichters Heinrich von Kleist’

g

orch

1856; second rev. version completed by Dec 30, 1876

1878

Berlin, Simrock

March 14, 1857, Hanover (first version); rev. version March 8, 1877, London, Cambridge

D-Hs

37

Str Qt movt

c

2 vns, va, vc

1858

D-Hs

38

Fantasie über Irische Melodien (collab. O. Goldschmidt)

D

vn, pf

Herbst 1859

D-B

39

Melodrama zu einer Schiller-Gedenkfeier

D

spkr, orch

1859

D-Hs

40

WOO

Vn Conc. no.3

G, c, G

vn, pf/orch

First version 1864; second version dated Jan 30, 1878

1889

Berlin, Bote & Bock

Gisela von Arnim

June 27, 1864, London

D-Hs

41

March no.1

C

orch

July 1871

Berlin, Simrock

July 3, 1871

D-Hs

42

March no.2

D

orch

July 1871

Berlin, Simrock

Feb 6, 1871

D-LEm

43

14

Scene der Marfa (Schiller, Demetrius)

E

Mez, orch/pf

Sept 27, 1876

1878

Berlin, Simrock

Nov 8, 1877

D-Hvs

44

Merlin’s Song (Rain, rain, sun)

f

v

Dec 1879

London, C. Kegan Paul & Co

March 15, 1889

45

WOO

Variationen für Violine mit Orchesterbegleitung

e

vn, pf/orch

1878

1879

1882

Berlin, Bote & Bock

Pablo de Sarasate

March 4, 1880

46

Ov. for Kaiser Wilhelm [II]

C

orch

1896

1896

Boosey & Hawkes; Anton J. Benjamin Musikverlage

Emperor Wilhelm II

Feb 3, 1896

D-Hs

Undated/undatable works

Joachim Works

Op.

Title

Key

Scoring

Begun

Finished

Published

Publisher

Dedication

First known performance

Autograph location

47

Wie sich Blütenranken schwingen

D

v, pf

D-HVs

48

Jeder nennet froh die Seine (Eichendorff)

v, pf

49

Feierlicher Marsch

A♭

pf

D-Hs

50

Marsch, Moderato (feierlich)

D

brass, timp

D-Hs

51

Fuga. Adagio e mesto.

c

2 vn, va, vc

D-Hs

52

Scottish Melody

D

vn

D-LÜbi

Composition exercises

Joachim Works

Op.

Title

Key

Scoring

Begun

Finished

Published

Publisher

Dedication

First known performance

Autograph location

53

Joachim’s Counterpoint Exercises with Brahms

1856–7

D-Hs, D-HVs

Fragments, sketches

Joachim Works

Op.

Title

Key

Scoring

Begun

Finished

Published

Publisher

Dedication

First known performance

Autograph location

54

Adagio

e

vn, pf

55

Andantino

F

vn

London, March 1883

‘Zur freundlichen Erinnerung an Joseph Joachim’

US-NYpm

56

Andantino [and allegro scherzoso Op. 1]

a

ob, pf

Paris, Feb 26, 1850

Gustave Vogt (Albumblatt)

US-NYpm

57

Anfang einer Kadenz zum a moll Concert v. Viotti (Cadenza fragment)

a

vn

Signed in Hanover

Sotheby’s

58

Cadenza fragment to Beethoven op.61

D

vn

May 25, 1852

PL-ŁŹu

59

Du hast die Ros’ ans Herz gelegt

g

S, pf

D-Kl

60

Fragment [Nature]

C

orch

D-Hs

61

Fragment

G

vn

D-Hs

62

Fragment

G

2 cl, 2 hn, 2 bn

D-Hs

63

Fragment

G♭

[vn], [vc], pno

D-Hs

64

Fragment, Fughetta vivace

C

vn, va, vc

D-Hs

65

Fragment, Vn Conc.

D

vn, orch

D-Hs

66

Fragment, Vn Conc.

D

vn, orch

D-Hs

67

Fragment

G

vn, pf

D-Hs

68

Fragment

E♭

vn, pf

D-Hs

69

Fragment

a

v, pf

D-Hs

70

Fragment

e

[vn], pf

D-Hs

71

Fragment

G

orch

D-Hs

72

Fragment

G

v, pf

D-Hs

73

Fragment

v, pf

D-Hs

74

Fragment for G. von Arnim

D

reduction

1911

Bard

Gisela von Arnim

75

Jagdstück

D

vn

D-B

124

Str Qt (fragment of two movts)

E♭; A♭/ D♭

2 vn, va, vc

D-LÜbi

125

Jagdstückchen

D

vn

April 23, 1902

D-LÜbi

126

Allegretto

B♭

vn, pf

May 2, 1850

Album leaf for unknown

D-LÜbi

127

Ballade

A

vn, pf

Jan 22, 1860

Laura von Meysenbug (album leaf)

D-LÜbi

128

e

Andante

F

vn

March 12, 1869

Album leaf for unknown

D-LÜbi

129

Untitled souvenir

F

vn

Jan 3, 1876

souvenir

D-LÜbi

Lost

Joachim Works

Op.

Title

Key

Scoring

Begun

Finished

Published

Publisher

Dedication

First known performance

Autograph location

76

Adagio and Rondo

vn, pf

Dec 4, 1845, Leipzig, Gewandhaus

77

One variation on the Irish Elfenlied

pf

78

Die Kapelle

v, pf

(composed for Lady Macfarren)

79

Kleine Blumen, kleine Blätter

v, pf

(composed for Lady Macfarren)

80

3 Early Vn Sonatas

vn, pf

Lost, except for Scherzo (US-cn)

81

Early Str Qt

2 vns, va, vc

Works arranged by Joachim

Joachim Works

Op.

Title

Key

Scoring

Begun

Finished

Published

Publisher

Dedication

First known performance

Autograph location

82

Bach, Christmas Oratorio, bwv248, organ part

org

1875

Dec 1875

Dec 1875

D-Hs

83

Bach, Cantata, bwv103

pf

84

R. Schumann, Abendlied,

vn, pf

July 1866

Leipzig, Schuberth & Co.

Nov 30, 1861

85

vn,orch

Hamburg, Schuberth & Co.

May 16, 1904

86

F. Liszt, Rhapsodie Hongroise, arr. vn part by Joachim

c♯

vn, pf

1853

Aug 1871

Leipzig, Schuberth & Co.

D-WRgs

87

J. Brahms, Hungarian Dances, Books 1 and 2

vn, pf

1868–72

Berlin, Simrock

D-Hs

88

F. Schubert, Grand Duo, Op. posth. 140, d812, orch by Joachim

orch

Oct 1873

Vienna, Spina

A-Wgm

89

parts

March 1875

Vienna, Schreiber

90

J. Brahms, Hungarian Dances, Books 3 and 4,

vn, pf

Jan 1881

Berlin, Simrock

D-Hs

91

N. Paganini, Caprice op.1 no.24, arr. for vn and pf

a

vn, pf

1849

1849

D-Hs

Cadenzas by Joachim

Joachim Works

Op.

Title

Key

Scoring

Begun

Finished

Published

Publisher

Dedication

First known performance

Autograph location

92

Cadenz zum Rondo vom Beethoven Vn Conc.

vn

1844

[MS]

Published in Moser (1901)

93

3 Cadenzas for Beethoven, Vn Conc. op.61

D

vn

1853

Vienna, Haslinger

94

Cadenza for 1st movt of Beethoven, Vn Conc. op.61

D

vn

1885

Budapest, Rózsavölgyi & Co.

95

2 sets of 3 Cadenzas for Beethoven, Vn Conc. op.61

D

vn

Nov 1894

Berlin, Schlesinger

96

Cadenzas for Brahms, Vn Conc. op.77

D

vn

1879

Berlin, Simrock

97

Cadenzas for Mozart, Vn Conc. k218

vn

1905

London-Hamburg, Simrock

D-Hs

98

Cadenzas and Eingänge, Mozart, Vn Conc. k219

vn

1905

Berlin, Simrock

BnF

99

Cadenzas for B. Viotti, Conc. no.22

a

vn

1905

Berlin, Simrock

100

Cadenza for Viotti, Conc. in E

E

vn

Nov 23, 1891

US-NYpm

101

Cadenza for P. Nardini, Vn Conc

e

vn

Berlin, Dec 1888

Esther Bright

D-LÜbi

102

Cadenzas for Mozart, ‘Il re pastore’

S, vn

1862

Nellie Melba (ded. June 26, 1898)

AUS-CAnl

103

Cadenza for G. Tartini, The Devil’s Trill

vn

1905

Berlin, Simrock

104

Cadenza for P. Rode, Conc. no.11

D

vn

D-Hs

105

Cadenza for L. Spohr, Conc. Op.47 ‘Gesangsszene’

a

vn

1905

Berlin, Simrock

Works by Joachim arranged by other composers

Joachim Works

Op.

Title

Key

Scoring

Begun

Finished

Published

Publisher

Dedication

First known performance

Autograph location

106

Vn Conc. piano accompaniment [by J. Brahms?]

g

vn, pf

Dec 1854

Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel

107

Ov. to Hamlet, arr. pf 4 hands, by J. Brahms

d

pf 4 hands

1853/4

2012

Henle

A-Wgm

108

Ov. to Demetrius, arr. 2 pf, by J. Brahms

D

2 pf

1856

2012

Henle

A-Wgm

109

Ov. to Demetrius, arr. pf 4 hands, by W. Bargiel

D

pf 4 hands

D-B

110

March no.1

C

pf 4 hands

Simrock

D-B

111

March no.2

D

pf 4 hands

Simrock

D-B

112

Ov. to Kleist, arr. pf 4 hands, by R. Keller

G minor

Pf 4 hands

May 1878

Berlin, Simrock

113

Hebrew Melodys [sic], arr. vc, pf, by P. Roth

vc, pf

June 1888

Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel

114

Romance op.2 no.1, arr., va, pf, by H. v. Dessauer

va, pf

Nov 1893

Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel

115

Romance, arr., va, pf, by H. v. Dessauer

C

va, pf

May 1894

Leipzig, Kahnt

116

Ov. to Henry IV, arr., 2 pf, by J. Brahms

C

2 pf

1855

1902

Berlin, Simrock

A-Wgm

117

Ov. to Gozzi, arr., pf 4 hands

g

pf 4 hands

1902

Simrock

D-B

Bibliography

  • MGG1 (W. Boetticher); MoserGV; SchwarzGM
  • A. Moser: Joseph Joachim: ein Lebensbild (Berlin, 1898, enlarged 1908–10, Eng. trans., 1901)
  • J.A. Fuller Maitland: Joseph Joachim (London, 1905)
  • P. Bekker: ‘An Joseph Joachims Bahre’, Basler Nachrichten (18 Aug 1907)
  • A. Moser, ed.: Johannes Brahms: Briefwechsel, 5–6 (Berlin, 1908, 3/1921/R)
  • Johannes Joachim and A. Moser, eds.: Briefe von und an Joseph Joachim (Berlin, 1911–13; Eng. trans., abridged, 1914/R)
  • R. Pfohl: ‘Joseph Joachim und Richard Wagner’, Die Musik, vol.20 (1927–8), 645–52
  • A. Holde: ‘Suppressed Passages in the Brahms–Joachim Correspondence, Published for the First Time’, MQ, vol.45 (1959), 312–24
  • Yu. A. Breitburg: Joseph Joachim: pedagog i ispolnitel′ [Pedagogue and interpreter] (Moscow, 1966)
  • B. Stoll: Joseph Joachim, Violinist, Pedagogue and Composer (diss., U. of Iowa, 1978)
  • R.T. Oliver: ‘Brahms, Joachim and the Classical Tradition’, Brahms Congress: Detroit 1980
  • B. Schwarz: ‘Joseph Joachim and the Genesis of Brahms’s Violin Concerto’, MQ vol.69 (1983), 503–23
  • B. Borchard: ‘Joseph Joachim – vom Wunderkind zum Hohepriester der deutschen Musik – ein kulturhistorischer Weg’, Berliner Beiträge zur Musikwissenschaft (1995), no.2, pp.26–39 [suppl. to NBM]
  • B. Borchard: ‘“Im Dienst der echten, wahren Kunst”: Joseph Joachim und die Hochschule für Musik’, ‘Die Kunst hat nie ein Mensch allein besessen’: eine Ausstellung der Akademie der Künste und Hochschule der Künste, ed. M. Hingst (Berlin, 1996), 353–60
  • B. Borchard: Stimme und Geige: Amalie und Joseph Joachim, ein Beitrag zur Künstlersozial- und Interpretationsgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts (Frankfurt, 2000)
Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
B. Schwarz: Great Masters of the Violin
A. Moser: Geschichte des Violinspiels (Berlin, 1923, rev. 2/1966-7 by H.J. Nösselt)
Musical Quarterly