Most interesting 20th century pieces for solo violin?

January 24, 2007 at 09:50 PM · Hello,

Which pieces for solo violin do you consider as most interesting in 20th century's repertoire?

Thank you in advance.

Replies (23)

January 24, 2007 at 10:28 PM · i would say reger by far, especially the chaconne in A min Op.91 No.7

no contest

January 24, 2007 at 10:59 PM · Greetings,

Scott.I wish people would explore and perform Reger more. His music for violin has so much to offer.



January 24, 2007 at 11:21 PM · in the book szigetti on the violin it says they were once used commonly as audition pieces

January 24, 2007 at 11:24 PM · Bartok Solo Sonata.

January 25, 2007 at 12:59 AM · I agree that Reger is great music. Gidon Kremer even uses a Reger work, loosely based on the opening gesture of the Brahms concerto, as the cadenza in his Brahms recording.

That said, I'm not sure Reger is the most important composer of solo violin works in the 20th century. I do think Ysaye should be included in the discussion. Bartok may certainly represent of apex of solo violin writing. Elliott Carter is also an important contributor to the genre.

January 25, 2007 at 01:11 AM · buri, who are the mozarts, bachs, beethovans of the recent past,,,or there are none:(?

January 25, 2007 at 02:29 AM · My favorites are:

Bartok Sonata

Ysaye Six Sonatas Op. 27

Kreisler Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice Op. 6

Hindemith (there are two)

Prokofiev Op. 115

Nielsen Preludio e Presto Op. 52

Nielsen (again) Praeludium und Thema mit Variationen Op. 48

January 25, 2007 at 03:15 AM · al, how would I know? I have enough trouble finding my underwear in the morning. I think the great composers of whenever are so all powerful that w elose track of slightly `lesser` figures such as Reger, Martinu or Suk. I think Schnittker had a lot to offer too, by the way. There are also a whole slew of interesitng Eastern European composers who have never sene the light of day.



January 25, 2007 at 03:42 AM · I'm really into the Bartok solo sonata lately, since I got a recording of--guess who--Barnabas Kelemen playing it. :) Great stuff.

January 25, 2007 at 03:46 AM · buri, folks who want to hear some group violin play of some original modern scores need to go to the movies:) Bah!

January 25, 2007 at 04:22 AM · In addition to all the great works listed above, there is a very interesting solo violin sonata by Bernd-Alois Zimmerman. Khachaturian and Prokofiev have sonatas for unaccompanied violin as well - I know readers might not consider either one "contemporary" but certainly worthy works from a very young Prokofiev, and a rather old Khachaturian.

January 25, 2007 at 04:37 AM · Another first-place vote for the Bartok solo sonata here. And the Ysaye sonatas.

The Kreisler R & S is not life-changing, but a well written, imaginative, and entertaining work.

Not yet mentioned: a new take on an old favorite, "Paganiniana" by Nathan Milstein (his own brilliant set of variations on Paganini's 24th caprice).

On another plane, I've heard some solo works by Augusta Read Thomas & Joan Tower that are interesting (and very difficult). Anyone have opinions on those?

January 25, 2007 at 06:20 AM · The Bartok is a great great piece.

Some other nice pieces for unaccompanied violin are the "Four Songs of Solitude" by John Harbison, the Penderecki viola concerto cadenza (arranged for violin), and the Berio Sequenza VIII.

January 25, 2007 at 05:32 AM · Bartok and Prokofiev sonatas win my vote..

January 25, 2007 at 05:41 AM · If you're going for interesting, Ives' stuff is quite interesting.

Love Bartok :)

January 25, 2007 at 06:10 AM · can't claim to know much 20c music but the Ysaye sonatas are my favorite piece of music right now.

i missed the chance to see keleman but you can see another impressive performance of the solo Bartok by another gold medalist (Hadelich) from Indy here - just click on to his semifinal round performance:

January 25, 2007 at 06:16 AM · Martinu, Suk, Prokofiev and Shostakovich for me.

January 25, 2007 at 06:30 AM · I'll put in another vote for the "Songs of Solitude." They've been recorded several times now.

If you want to try something pretty hard core for its type, you can try the Sessions Sonata.


January 25, 2007 at 12:46 PM · Nathan Milstein - Paganiniana (played by G Kremer on DG) and also Alan Ridout - Ferdinand the Bull for solo violin & speaker (Also G & Elena Kremer on Philips). [I heard Vengerov even plays both roles of speaker & solo violinist in some concerts!]

January 25, 2007 at 01:43 PM · Beside the “usual suspects” (Bartok, Isaye, Prokofiev, Hindemith et al.) I think Isang Yun’s “Königliches Thema” (“Royal Anthem…?”) and Hans Werner Henze’s solo sonata are also worth being mentioned.

January 26, 2007 at 01:35 PM · Barkauskas, Vytautas. Partita for violin solo (1967). Hamburg: Musikverlag Hans Sikorski, 1973.

This is a nice twelve-tonish work in five movements. The work does not look to be fiendishly difficult, but it certainly is not easy.


January 27, 2007 at 06:51 PM · Roger Sessions Solo Sonata (more difficult than Bartok)

George Perle Solo Sonata. Both pieces are 12 tone, though if you don't like that sort of thing.

January 27, 2007 at 06:57 PM · Prokofiev Solo Sonata.

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