The Athenæum, Vol. 2, No. 1301 (October 2, 1852) p. 1072


Three Pieces for the Violin and Piano. By Joseph Joachim. Op. 2. — On the occasion of Herr Joachim’s concert we found it necessary [ante, p. 730] to speak in remonstrance against the path apparently preferred in composition by the most gifted young violinist of his day. This we did not merely on the strength of the music performed by him in public, but also with reference to these very three pieces with which we had made acquaintance in private. A return to them, without the interest thrown into them by their composer’s playing, has in no respect caused us to amend the judgment which it behoved us to record plainly in proportion as our admiration and hope for the future of Herr Joachim were sincere. In England we trust these pieces will not — because they should not — find favour: since such spirit and fancy as they contain are clogged, tormented, over-wrought, to a point far short of which the most willing sympathy for the over-anxieties of young experiment must stop short. Unless Herr Joachim altogether change his manner of working, he will never be to the new half-century what Dr. Spohr has been to the one just closed — the greatest German composer for the violin.