Programming a recital with Mozart no. 4: repertoire suggestions?

September 17, 2016 at 06:12 PM · Early in February of next year, I'm going to be putting on a recital at a local retirement home. The only piece that is definitely on the program so far is Mozart's violin concerto no. 4. I have a number of pieces I could program with the Mozart, but I'm looking for some more opinions on repertoire. Since the recital is still several months away, I have time to learn a new piece (or two or three) as well. Examples of some of the other pieces I've covered include: assorted solo Bach, the Bruch, the Mendelssohn, Kreisler's Recetativo and Scherzo, Saint-Saens' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and Brahms' Hungarian Dance no. 5.

The recital is to be (I think) 45 minutes to an hour long. I have accompaniment available, however, I would love some suggestions of unaccompanied music as well.

So: what do you think would go well with Mozart no. 4 on a recital? Thanks in advance for any and all input!

Replies (5)

September 17, 2016 at 08:37 PM · I'm not sure I would recommend playing a concerto with piano in anything other than a student-recital setting. However, the Intro & RC works well as a recital piece, and the Hungarian Dance should as well. If you're going to do Mozart, consider one of the short works that works well with piano, such as the Rondo from the Haffner Serenade, or the C-major Rondo.

I would suggest fill out the remainder of the program with lighter classical and crossover or popular music. For instance, if you're going to play Kreisler, I'd recommend the salon works -- Liebesleid, Liebesfreud, Schon Rosmarin, etc. -- rather than the Recitativo & Scherzo, Praeludium & Allegro, etc.

You could play Elgar's Salut d'Amor, Drdla's Souvenir, and similar works. You could do violin arrangements of showtunes or popular songs from the youth of whoever you're playing for.

September 17, 2016 at 09:26 PM · The Telemann Fantasias for unaccompanied violin are charming and short (~5 mins each) alternatives to solo Bach.

September 17, 2016 at 10:39 PM · I think if you are organizing your recital around Mozart 4, that's like the 2-inch-thick steak in the middle of your plate. Your accompanist should probably make some large cuts, because I agree with Lydia that piano-accompanied concertos are just not as interesting in terms of the "orchestra" part.

Trust me, old folks like familiar stuff. I've played so many jazz piano gigs in retirement centers -- and you should see the beaming smiles come over their faces when you start in on "America the Beautiful." You play it absolutely straight -- no jazz of any sort -- and they're swooning in their seats. Many of these folks were kids in the WW2 era, and that would be a fantastic encore. And if you're good enough to play M4, your Thais Meditation will have them in tears.

I like a lot of Lydia's recommendations too. Seconding the Drdla Souvenir -- and zing those harmonics! If you must play a solo Bach movement, make it a peppy, popular one -- the E Major Gavotte en Rondeau comes to mind. You can tell your audience that this particular piece has left the solar system ... literally.

September 18, 2016 at 04:17 AM · By the way, Lily, I just listened to your I&RC and Mozart 4/III on YouTube -- congratulations on having improved immensely since your Bruch video.

September 18, 2016 at 05:31 AM · Thanks, Lydia. A couple more years of practice have done me good. :)

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