Description

Ethel Barns was active as a composer, violinist and pianist. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Ebenezer Prout (composition) and Emile Sauret (violin). Her success as a composer derived principally from her violin works which she performed herself, although her sonatas were also taken into the repertoire of international soloists such as Joseph Joachim and Emil Sauret.

This manuscript volume contains a draft for most of the first movement (ff. 1-xx) of a piece entitled ‘Concerto no.2’ (her first violin concerto is assumed to be lost). While mostly in ink it also contains light pencil amendments throughout. A score of whole piece follows (ff. xx-yy), with the first movement appearing again, this time in slightly reorchestrated form. This relatively neat score is likely to represent the piece as it was performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra on 10 November 1904: the blue crayon markings throughout are most probably by the conductor of the first performance, Dan Godfrey.

The concerto was performed again on 7 November 1907 at the Bechstein (now Wigmore) Hall, this time with piano accompaniment. An earlier manuscript (Add MS 63058), dated June 1904, is a piano/violin score from which the orchestral accompaniment would have been made, but may also have been used as the basis for this performance. The concerto does not seem to have been published in any form.

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