Graun wrote at least 83 solo concertos, a number of double concertos, and a few group concertos with solo violin. Nine of the solo concertos are known only by entries in catalogues, while the music itself is lost. The remaining 74 pieces have survived only in manuscript copies. Unfortunately only for eight of these the attribution to Johann Gottlieb Graun is absolutely certain. Most of the manuscript sources were prepared by copyists that had no close relationship to the composer, or they merely bear the name “Graun”. It is to be assumed, however, that compositions for solo violin among the Grauniana most probably stem from Graun the concert master.
Just as difficult as the question of authorship is that of dating the concertos. Thus the violin concerto in a minor is transmitted in four manuscript copies, of which two definitely were written after the Seven Years’ War (PL Kj: in AmB 236 and D B: SA 2762). The same may be true for a third source, a score that perhaps was copied by Carl Friedrich Zelter (D B: in SA 2761); not much can be said about the set of parts kept under the same shelf number. This concerto was probably written in the 1740s or 1750s, as on the one hand its formal and stylistic profile follow the concerto type developed in the 1730s by Giuseppe Tartini, and on the other its lyrical tone, the heightened emphasis on the finale, and the dense motivic work in the first movement reveal Graun’s mature style.
(Christoph Henzel, translation by Stephanie Wollny)