Bruch G Minor?
I had a quick question relative to the Bruch G Minor Concerto. What pieces does one need to have played before attempting this concerto? Which pieces would be essential to learn so that one can easily succeed in playing the concerto?
If you're asking what you can study that would make the Bruch seem easy, my answer is Mendelssohn or Lalo.
I think it's more important to know the techniques required. I don't believe you have to have learned certain repertoire in order to learn a particular piece. If you're technically and musically ready for it according to your teacher, go ahead if you want.
In addition to those already mentioned, 3-octave scales and apo. Scales in thirds, sixths and octaves.
Mozart G major (K216) is something good to start before the Bruch, the 1st and 2nd mvt of the Bruch isn't so technically difficult, but the 3rd mvt is much more of a challenge.
That's okay. Nobody does "third movements" any more. :)
Usually people at least do the Lalo first movement before doing Bruch, along with some other pieces mentioned above. Lalo first movement isn't that terribly challenging if you're really practicing your scales and arpeggios well, but it is a necessary stepping stone to doing Bruch because it gets you used to more of the style needed for Bruch as well as moving all over the finger board.
Bruch immediately after Accolay? Yikes.
Actually I sometimes teach Lalo before Bruch, depending on the particular student's strengths and weaknesses. They're very similar in difficulty; it isn't a clear cut "do this one before the other one" situation.
I did it in this order:
Wieniawski is harder than Bruch or Lalo. Saint-Saens and Mendelssohn are similar in difficulty but Mendelssohn has a slight edge because it is so long, and because of those octaves on the first page. Both SS and Mendelssohn are harder than Bruch and Lalo by a significant amount; they are also harder than Wieniawski in my opinion unless the upbow staccato represents an obstacle.
This might also depend on how solid a student's technique is before they start major concerto literature. I think my childhood teacher did not like to teach the concert-hall concertos, so to speak, until a student was ready to learn them at a level where he would be teaching a few specific techniques that were unusual, rather than reinforcing basic technical security.
Is this a reasonable order of pieces to reach the Bruch?
My students work on the Monti Czardas, Corelli La Folia Variations, Ten Have Allegro Brilliante, Haydn G Major Concerto, Vivaldi Four Seasons, Mozart G Major Concerto, and Sarasate Malaguena, among other things.
Tambourin Chinois is much harder than P & A.
Wieniawski Scherzo Tarantella is harder than all of those, I think (including the Bruch in raw technical difficulty), at least if the intent is to play it cleanly and in tune...
I don't believe the Scherzo-Tarantella isn't as challenging because it relies so much on repetitive patterns, the rhythms are not as complex, and younger students with smaller violins don't have such a difficult time getting up to the higher register. It's dependent on the student...I avoid it with the ones who are hitting their major growth spurt in their teen years; we do it before or after.
Scherzo Tarantelle is a funny piece in terms of difficulty. I've never thought of it as all that hard (not saying it isn't hard, just that I find other pieces more difficult) and yet I once assigned it to a very advanced student who, much to my surprise, crashed and burned on it. It wasn't the left hand that he struggled with; it was the string crossings.
There are some beautiful Tchaikovsky encores too: Melancholic Serenade, Waltz-Scherzo, etc. I believe Oistrakh recorded them all on one or two albums.
I had the same issue -- getting the bowing seemed impossible until it clicked into place. Speed required an unexpected amount of practice time, too.
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.