Tchaikovsky + Bach?

October 10, 2017, 4:14 PM · Hello,

I had a general question regarding Presto from Bach's sonata 1 in G minor and Tchaikovsky's D Major Violin Concerto SECOND Movement. What does one need to have played before these pieces and what would you rank them out of 20? 1 being very easy and 20 being the most difficult.

Replies (4)

Edited: October 10, 2017, 5:22 PM · The numerical rankings will be useless information. What you should have played in preparation is very useful -- my opinion as an amateur.

My own experience is that for the Canzonetta you should have already played Meditation from Thais. Some will say, oh, the Canzonetta is so much harder! But I did not find it so; nor did my daughter. One caveat is that sometime people are assigned the Meditation from Thais well before they are ready.

As for the Presto I would guess that you would already have done several other movements of solo Bach -- and not just the slower ones. You should have probably done D minor Gigue, E major Praeludio, the Allemande and Double from the B-minor, all at reasonable tempos.

October 10, 2017, 5:32 PM · Those pieces you want to play are a 6.5 give or take. Everything Paul suggested makes sense. You've certainly done Bach A minor, Thais, several Bach solo movements if not the whole E major or equivalent, and a few other sonatas or show pieces. Maybe another concerto too like Lalo or Mozart.
October 10, 2017, 7:40 PM · The Canzonetta *is* much harder than Thais, but if you choose to play it with naive fingerings, the difficulty level is much reduced.
October 11, 2017, 5:13 AM · The Presto from Sonata 1 is tricky but not overwhelming. It depends what level you want to play it at but as a minimum I would suggest that before attempting it at all, you should be very comfortable with some of the the earlier Kreutzer studies (e.g. no.2 for moto perpetuo playing and no. 13 I think for string crossings - obviously, you need to get your fingers down in the right place quickly, and you need very good string-crossing technique, for the Presto to not sound a mess).

I would also suggest studying one (or preferably more) of the "easier" Baroque works (Handel or Bach sonatas with accompaniment, or Telemann fantasias), then moving on to something the Allemande and Courante from the D minor Partita, before looking seriously at the Presto - because it's not just a case of playing the notes, you also have to understand the musical phrasing behind them.

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