Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Concerto in D major for violin and orchestra Op. 35 is dedicated to Alma Mahler-Werfel, long-time friend of the family and member of the same circle of exiled Californian artists as Korngold, who emigrated in 1934. 'First I was a child prodigy, then a successful opera composer in Europe and then a composer of film music. I think that I have to take a decision now, unless I want to remain a Hollywood composer for the rest of my life' – with these words, Korngold described the turning point in his work in 1946.
The end of the war in 1945 not only gave the composer the opportunity to travel to Europe again, a creative crisis also ensued. Korngold turned away from film music and began to compose ‘absolute’ music in the traditional genres. Written in 1945, the Violin Concerto in D major Op. 35 ushered in this new creative period. The enormous virtuosity of the solo part was adjusted by Korngold to fit the exceptional talent of Jascha Heifetz. Underlying all three movements of the concerto are themes from Korngold’s film scores ranging from Another Dawn, Juarez, Anthony Adverse to The Prince and the Pauper – a nostalgic tribute, almost like a musical film, to the years in Hollywood and at the same time a tour de force for the violin.