What concerto to play next?
Hi! I’m working on choosing my next concerto. I recently finished playing the Mozart 3 in G with the Franko cadenza, and I played it pretty well. I’m working on the Bach Sonata 2 in a minor (Grave and Fugue), and it is going pretty well. My teacher gave me the choice of these concertos:
Saint-Saens Concerto in b minor
Lalo Symphony Espagnole
Mendelssohn Concerto in E minor
Vieuxtemps Concerto 4 or 5
Dvorak concerto in A minor
She tends to try to move me and other students onto pieces that we aren’t ready for. Do any of these concertos seem way out of reach? Would you mind pointing out some on this list that you think aren’t going to be too hard for me to play (I’d have a few months to get them performance-ready). Thanks!
I have no idea, but which concertos do you like best? You might be able to pick out the insane difficult ones (at least I could to quite a degree). Maybe you should get a new teacher...
Except Kabalevsky, most other concertos in your list are out of reach and certainly not likely to be performance ready within a couple of months. Also I noticed the omission of Bruch. Have you already studied/performed it?
"She tends to try to move me and other students onto pieces that we aren’t ready for."
Sung Han, I haven't studied the Bruch yet. Helen and Ella, I have found it weird that she puts people on pieces they aren't ready for. She only tends to do this for one event, our Solo and Ensemble. For the rest of the year, she usually gives people more reasonable pieces. I really like all other parts of her teaching besides this. This issue usually can be mitigated if I take control of song choices. I'm leaning towards the Kabalevsky after looking at the sheet music. Thanks for everyone's suggestions/advice.
My teacher taught me Bruch and wants to teach me Wieniawski before going into Mendelssohn. I practically begged her for Lalo 1st movement right after Kabalevsky (which we didn't really finish and she wanted me to move on from it because it was getting stale) and while Lalo is not as hard as it seems, I still put in quite a bit of work to complete it. There's a lot to learn from Bruch and if you're up for some challenge, it would be a fantastic choice.
I'm all for occasionally pushing students out of their comfort zone, if it serves a solid educational purpose. But I find it difficult to understand why your teacher compels students to publicly perform pieces that are clearly way out of league.
My guess is that the local Solo & Ensemble judges are the sorts that give the highest scores to the most difficult pieces, even if the pieces are clearly badly played because they are beyond the student's skill.
I would agree with the general consensus, because I personally did the Mozart concerto no. 5 and Bruch concerto after the Mozart no. 3. I would recommend those two for sure-It is a much easier alternative (yet still challenging enough for your skill level). I for example did the Bruch first, then Mendelssohn, and am now doing the Wieniawski no. 2 and Bach Sonata 1 Adagio. For me, that was a pretty natural progression, and I personally am doing quite well with it at a relatively nice pace.
Sung Han, I briefly worked on the Bach Partita in E Major last year. The Fugue is daunting but going pretty well! I've also sightread the first movement of Bach Partita in D Minor for fun. I caught on pretty quick to that one.
Kabalevsky seems to be the entry point for the list of concertos you've shown. It's comparable to Mozart 3 -- easier in some ways, harder in others.
Lydia said: "My guess is that the local Solo & Ensemble judges are the sorts that give the highest scores to the most difficult pieces, even if the pieces are clearly badly played because they are beyond the student's skill."
That is exactly what a judge should do, but unfortunately judges who do what Lydia said do exist. But even if the judges give higher marks for more difficult repertoire without regard to playing quality, I do not see this as a justification for giving a student a piece they are not ready for, because that could really mess up their technique.
Bruce, in my experience the State judging is far more knowledgeable than our local events, which tend toward the feel-good and which do indeed often reward difficulty without consideration for quality.
Glazunov and Dvorak are sort of outliers on that list. I'm finishing up the Mozart 3 with the Franko cadenza as well, but I am doing all the movements, I do not know if you are. I recommend playing all 3 movements. I've found that the 2nd and 3rd are a bit easier than the first. I'm doing Kabalevksy after the Mozart, so I'd recommend it.
I think it's acceptable to challenge students, but not to the degree of overkill. I think quality of performance is the #1 thing to consider when judging, though piece difficulty could be a small part.
Don't the quality of performance and piece difficulty go together? Playing a piece that is too difficult will result in a poor performance, and playing a piece that is at the level of the player will likely result in a decent performance.
Only sort of. That's the case if your judges are good (say, you get Bruce as your judge, not Mary Ellen's ex-student). Some judges give disproportionate weight to the difficulty of the work (or if they're not a violinist, how difficult the work sounds) over the quality of the playing.
+1 for Kabalevsky. And props to you for pre-empting the inevitable (and appropriate) suggestion that your teacher will know best.
I like De Beriot 7 better.
OP, if you did the Sam Franko cadenza, Bruch is doable. You may have to practice G minor double stop scales in thirds, octaves etc. concurrently.
Thanks for all of the advice and responses everyone! After listening and checking out sheet music, I've pretty much decided on the Kabalevsky. I'll keep in mind all of the other piece suggestions that people posted for the future. Thanks again!
First movement of Lalo might be a stretch worth doing, and based on that you get a better idea on if Kabalevsky or Bruch would make more sense to do next.
Kabalevsky is much easier than Lalo.
Much much easier.
You may want to find out some of the less demanding concertos here: https://goo.gl/UtPpq6
Ditto Mary Ellen's advice.
Gene, I regularly work on scales along with thirds, sixths, and octaves. I'm doing Kreutzer right now.
Mary Ellen--exactly, if Lalo goes well, go to Bruch. If not, put in on the shelf and do Kabalevsky and then either come back and polish up Lalo or do something else in between those next, depending on how Kabalevsky went. Sometimes pushing moves you to the next level, sometimes not, that's why your advice to ask your teacher is usually the best advice=)
I think you have missed my point. Lalo is not a gateway to Kabalevsky. Kabalevsky is a stepping stone on the way to Lalo. I am not a believer in gigantic jumps in repertoire, though if the OP is really working on the Bach Sonata #2 fugue, her teacher obviously is.
Lalo is also more difficult than Bruch, and it is a significant step up from Kabalevsky.
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