Mennonite Piano Concerto

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Mennonite Piano Concerto.
CD Jacket

Mennonite Piano Concerto, Victor Davies, composer (born Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on 1 May 1939, BMus, Indiana). Scored for piano solo and orchestra in three movements: Sonata, Theme and Variations, and Rondo/Scherzo. Commissioned by the B. B. Fast Foundation to mark the 450th anniversary of the Mennonite faith. Premiere performance 27 October 1975 in Winnipeg by Irmgard Baerg, piano, William Baerg, conductor and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Recorded by Irmgard Baerg, piano, and Boris Brott conducting members of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1983. The recording was used as the soundtrack for the film And When They Shall Ask (Dueck Productions, 1984). Issued as a Compact Disc recording, Campion Records, 1989. Arranged for two pianos by Suzanne Davies, Golden Toad Music, 1986.

The concerto was the brainchild of Benjamin Horch, who approached Victor Davies with the idea of creating a composition based on Mennonite Kernlieder. Davies was given a collection of tunes, from which he selected a number to use in the concerto. The first movement's two themes are based on "O Jesu, wieviel Gutes," and "Welchen Jubel, welche Freude;" the slow second movement uses "Wehrlos und Verlassen" as the basis for a set of variations; the third movement uses "Wie süss tönt Sabbatglockenklang" as the main source of inspiration, along with references to several other hymns. The work has been performed by a number of orchestras in Canada and the United States, and in North America and overseas in the two piano version. The recording has been featured on classical music radio programs in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

A notable performance occurred on 2 December 2012 when Leanne Regehr performed the piano concerto with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on the occasion of the premiere performance of The Journey, a violin concerto by Victor Davies performed by Rosemary Siemens, a violinist born and raised in Plum Coulee, Manitoba. The violin concerto was commissioned by Elmer and Hilda Hildebrand in honor of the 50th anniversary of Golden West Radio, a broadcasting company based in Altona, Manitoba. Like the piano concerto, all three movements derive thematic material from hymns. Latin rhythms are introduced in the final movement to represent the presence of Mennonites in Central and South America.


Canadian Music Centre.

Davies, Victor. "A Non-Mennonite Writes a Mennonite Piano Concerto." In Sound in the Land: Essays on Mennonites and Music, edited by Maureen Epp and and Carol Ann Weaver. Kitchener, Ontario: Pandora Press, 2005: 95-99.

Nemerofsky, Gwenda, "Violinist's talent trumps unfocused presention." Winnipeg Free Press (3 December 2012): D3.

Additional Information

Victor Davies website.

Author(s) Wesley Berg
Date Published February 2015

Cite This Article

MLA style

Berg, Wesley. "Mennonite Piano Concerto." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2015. Web. 18 Aug 2018.

APA style

Berg, Wesley. (February 2015). Mennonite Piano Concerto. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 August 2018, from

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