The Hungarian violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim is closely associated with much of Max Bruch's concerted music for that instrument. After the success of his first violin concerto (premiered by Joachim) Bruch was frequently requested to compose another one, and to that end kept a musical notebook to write down any suitable themes. Not quite ready to do a full concerto, he found themes in the notebook that he thought would make a viable single-movement piece. The work was written for the concertmaster of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, of which Bruch was the conductor. It is based on two themes, one serene and the other featuring bright double stops. Bruch's friend Wilhelm Altmann says the composer told him it was based on a Norse saga, "Gudrun's Lament by the Sea."
Description by Joseph Stevenson