Henri Vieuxtemps, a celebrated Belgian violinist and composer, was one of the greatest violinists of the nineteenth century. He and his tutor, Charles deBériot, were the founders of the new French violin academy. The first five violin concertos are his most significant compositions which cover his most creative years. Because of their innovative styles and original violin methods, they played a critical role in the development of the violin concerto in the nineteenth century—the Fourth and Fifth Concertos in particular. The sixth and seventh have been excluded due to their poor performance. Since Vieuxtemps was unable to play owing to paralysis, these last two concertos were composed during a time of immense strife and agony. His concertos were written during the Romantic period when violinists and composers were experimenting with different forms of music. Meuxtemps was profoundly influenced by the two most influential trends, Giovanni Viotti's orthodox, classical form and Nicolo Paganini's pyrotechnical, virtuosic styles.
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