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Ready to Learn Bach Double Concerto?

Repertoire: I've just restarted playing the violin, am currently studying Vivaldi A Minor Concerto and wonder if I could start Bach Double Concerto after that.

From Fernando Almeida
Posted July 4, 2009 at 08:31 PM

Hello everyone, I'm new here.

I'll start talking a bit about my musical background.

I started learning the violin when I was about 15/16. My first teacher was Suzuki-orientated and I almost finished the four first books in less then an year (there was only Bach's double concerto 1st movement left). Then my teacher went to live in the USA and sent me to a very good teacher, who didn't work with the Suzuki method. I was playing then a lot of scales (Flesch), etudes up to the fifth position, etc.

When I was 18, though, I started being a bit unmotivated because this new teacher (with whom I was studying for over an year) wanted me to learn like "all" Vivaldi's sonatas (I had learnt some of them already), and I wanted something different. He told me then that I would start learning Bach's double concerto and I was thrilled about it! I loved just to think of it. We were almost set, and he had even talked with another student to play the duo with me. But then, a few months later, he decided that I should learn some other Vivaldi's sonatas instead, and I really didn't want that (and he knew it). I don't question his reasons, I was probably not ready to move on yet, but I certainly wasn't happy anymore.

I was also starting college back then, and as I was not having any pleasure with my violin lessons anymore, I decided to give up the violin.

Now I'm 23, have finished college and want to start playing the violin again. I've just found a new teacher and I'm practing about 2/3 hours a day (which is all the time I have for it). I, with my teacher, decided to relearn Vivaldi's A minor concerto (all three movements), which I had already learnt in the past, but I also am spending a lot of time studying and reviewing scales, positions, shifting, etudes, etc.

Of course I'm going to talk with my teacher about this, but I'm thinking about what I want/should learn next. I am following (at least for starters) the Suzuki method, but I don't want to learn just the first movement Bach's double concerto (which is next on the book). If I am to learn it, I want to learn the whole concerto. Do you think someone who just finished Vivaldi's A minor concerto is ready to start learning the entire Bach's double concerto?

I hope I can someday play Mozart's concertos, which is my dream. I don't intend to be a professional violinist, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to play well. Maybe someday to take part in an amateur orchestra? Thanks for your advice!

From Dimitri Adamou
Posted on July 4, 2009 at 09:45 PM

Yeah why not? Go for it if you want to. If your teacher agrees to do it, then do it.

From Andrew Victor
Posted on July 4, 2009 at 10:01 PM

Sure! It sounds like you have al the prior background you would need. As you recall, the 2nd-fiddle part of the Bach Double (1st movement) is about next in Suzuki Book 4. The first fiddle part is in book 5. I think the 1st fiddle part is tougher because it has to start some time after the 2nd fiddle does (in 1st and 2nd movements).

Personally, I like the musical progression provided by the Suzuki books (especially the Vivaldi A minor), although I detest some of the editing and usually provide my students with different editions. Hovever, the editing of the Bach double is very playable and works well.


From matthew drottz
Posted on July 7, 2009 at 12:36 PM
Yes, Im sure you could because that's what I did as I was finishing vivaldis concerto in A minor I started the double concerto by bach
From Fernando Almeida
Posted on July 8, 2009 at 05:52 PM

Thanks for your replies! When I asked this I had in mind especially the second and third movements, which seem to me more difficult than the first one (the second because of the musicality you need to have and the third because of its technical difficulties). I love the concerto anyway, so I will soon give it a shot.

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