France, 1878. Composer Gabriel Faure looks over the two movements of his concerto. There seems to be no point in writing the third movement. Current prejudice favors German composers such as Brahms, Mendelsohn and Beethoven when it comes to concertos and symphonies. Faure sighs and puts the work into his scrap pile to be used only as inspiration for other compositions.
That, according to Ted Stern, conductor of the Glendale College Community Orchestra, is what musicologists speculate happened to the unfinished violin concerto that will have its West Coast premiere as part of the orchestra's performance Sunday at the La Canada Presbyterian Church.
A Ph.D. candidate in musicology, Stern explained that the speculation is based on Faure's diaries and the temperament of the times. An article about the concerto in Strad magazine, a publication for concert violinists, caught the interest of Mischa Lefkowitz, the soloist in Sunday's concert, who sent for the piece and recorded it with the Polish Radio Orchestra in June, 1990.
"Musically, it's a gorgeous piece of music," said Lefkowitz, a violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. "It's technically challenging."
Also on the afternoon's program is the Symphony in D minor by Franck. The concert starts at 4 p.m. The church is at 626 Foothill Blvd., La Canada Flintridge. Admission is $5; $4 for students and seniors.