Need a sad violin solo... can't find one...

January 27, 2007 at 11:45 PM · DELETED!

Replies (96)

January 27, 2007 at 11:55 PM · Well the saddest piece that comes to my mind (which happens to be one of my very favorites) is Chausson Poeme, but it's in E flat minor which is a very awkward key. It is very beautiful so if you want a real challenge maybe give it a try, (I haven't played it yet, only looked at the music, but I want to try it during the summer or next year because I love it so much). If you want something easier maybe try Vitali Chaconne or Bloch Nigun, both great pieces (though I haven't played them either). Also maybe you could consider Lalo Symphonie Espagnole 4th movement or a movement from Bach's D minor Partita.

January 28, 2007 at 12:39 AM · Greetings,

try the last movement of of the Bach C major solo sonata. A gorgeous little piece and very poignant. I remeber reading in a review that Issac Stern played it at the end of a cocnert as a tribute to someone. Can't remember who. What did stick in my ind was the reviewer who said he played it so badly it would have been better not to...



January 28, 2007 at 01:43 AM · Try one of the movements of the suite from "Schindler's List" by John Williams. If you've seen the movie, which I think just about everyone has, you'll know why it's sad. The music definitely reflects that.

January 28, 2007 at 02:05 AM · How about "Meditation from Thias" by Massenet?

January 28, 2007 at 03:33 AM · Con te partiro (time to say goodbye)-made popular by Andre Bocelli

January 28, 2007 at 04:18 AM · Vocalise by Rachmaninoff.

2nd movement from the Barber violin concerto, although it may stretch your technique more than you're comfortable with.

If you play viola, the Faure Elegie. (One of my favorite "sad pieces" and I try to plug it whenever I can.) There are also several plaintive violin pieces that Faure wrote that might work. (Check out Shaham's Faure disc.)

First movement of Bach c-minor harpsichord and violin sonata (but use piano for accompaniment).

Slow movement of Bach E-major concerto.

Second movement of the Tchaikovsky, Bruch, and Mendelssohn concertos, if played in a certain way.

Once you get to a certain technical level, Shostakovich 1 is one of the ultimates in regards to sad pieces.

Have fun wallowing in sadness! ;)

January 28, 2007 at 06:16 AM · Sibelius vc 2nd movement is one of my favorite "Slow, sad pieces." But it does have an accompaniment... obviously.

January 28, 2007 at 06:57 AM · Bach Chaconne.

January 28, 2007 at 07:39 AM · Yeah, I think Buri was actually referring to the third movement of Bach's C Major Sonata.

It's a great sonata... The movement he's referring to, I think, is beautiful, charming, and just a little warm piece.

Really a gem.

Oh, and I've played it before... easy to memorize and learn. Esp. if you just went through the huge fuga. Julia Fischer often plays it as an encore.


January 28, 2007 at 01:34 PM · Saddest piece I can think of is Joseph Achron's Hebrew Melody. Heart-breakingly sad.

[Edit] Found a video of Abram Shtern playing part of it on YouTube. Clicky


January 28, 2007 at 01:51 PM · A sad solo violin piece, mostly slow music but with some fast parts? Hindemith's solo violin sonata no. 2, Op. 31. A beautiful piece of music, too.

January 28, 2007 at 02:45 PM · In my opinion, the saddest piece I know of (and one that is not at all technically challenging) is Ravel's Kaddish. It is an extended song, a lament, and is heartbreakingly beautiful, as played as a solo or with piano accompaniment. The title comes from the fact that Kaddish is the name of the Jewish prayer for the dead.


January 28, 2007 at 03:19 PM · Ashokan Farewell

January 28, 2007 at 04:00 PM · Found another (and better) rendition of Achron's Hebrew Melody on YouTube. This time it's Perlman playing it in Cracow - starts at about 3:50 in this clip. Definitely worth a look. :)


January 28, 2007 at 05:15 PM · Hey, thanks for all the suggestions, I wrote them down and now will try to find them all... YouTube had a few of them. I'll have to ask my lessons teacher which ones she thinks are within my ability... but thanks everyone!

January 28, 2007 at 05:57 PM · Melodie by Gluck, arr. Fritz Kreisler.

January 28, 2007 at 07:44 PM · Another vote for Achron Hebrew Melody

January 28, 2007 at 08:27 PM · Greetings,

thanks Vince, its the third. Have the same trouble with order of moevements as letters apparently,



January 28, 2007 at 08:49 PM · concider these as well:

Tchaikovsky meditation

Tchaikovsky Valse Sentimentale

Tchaikovsky None But The Lonely Heart

Schubert Ave Maria

Rachmaninov Vocalise

Faure Berceuse

Mendelsohn On The Wings Of Song

Stravinski Firebird Berceuse

If you're really desperate I would be more than happy to compose something new for you. Specify the basic neccessary information such as key, difficulty, instrument setting, contact info and so on.

January 28, 2007 at 09:00 PM · I just spent the last few weeks sight-reading my way through "Hebrew Melodies", a compilation put together by Eric Wen, editorial genius. It is published by Carl Fischer, and readily available through various retail outlets. It includes the above mentioned "Hebrew Melody" by Achron, but has a lot of other great pieces, such as "Baal Shem", and "Kol Nidre". I especially liked "Yisker", by George Perlman. If you want to spring for the "Hebrew Melody", you might as well get a lot more music for your money by purchasing the compilation.

My favorite sad solo Bach is the Sarabande/Double from the first Partita.

January 28, 2007 at 09:59 PM · Bruch Kol Nidre!

January 28, 2007 at 11:36 PM · Hey, guys, I repeat - Kaddish by Ravel. It wins, hands down (so to speak).


January 29, 2007 at 03:11 AM · Pibroch by David Duke

January 29, 2007 at 08:03 AM · Sarabande from Bach D minor Partita

2nd movement of Barber

2nd movement of Tchaik

or, for a bit more of a challenge

3rd movement of shos 1

January 29, 2007 at 02:19 PM · Hi,

saddest piece I know is "Erbarme Dich" from Bach's Passion by St. Mathew. You can find the score in "Violin Solos from the Sacred Works" at

Heartfelt, haunting, moving. It's actually a duet with an alto voice, but it should work well unaccompanied, too. My favorite performance was Nigel Kennedy live and open air in Leipzig, Germany.

Bye, Juergen

February 1, 2007 at 04:48 AM · nigun by bloch

hebrew melody by achron

chaconne by vitali

legende by wienaiwski <--this isnt as hard and was written out of sorrow

February 1, 2007 at 05:04 AM · Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto by He Zhan Hao and Chen Gang.

February 3, 2007 at 03:40 AM · I was just practicing a piece that my wife heard from her computer room. She came in to my practice room and said my playing sounded really sad. On second though, maybe she wasn't referring to that particular piece of music. Hmmmmmm.

February 3, 2007 at 03:56 AM · Ray,

Can you make the 1st movement of Mozart concerto G major to sound sad?

February 3, 2007 at 05:18 PM · My wife says I can make the happiest music sound sad. Or is she really saying my playing is sad? Actually I think I play, if not concert violinist quality, at least decently.

Wait a minute. Wife is calling from another room. "WHAT? Mary, you said you KNOW what I just wrote and you want me to admit what? WHAT? You want me to stop saying my playing isn't sad." Back again. We seem to be having a disagreement about my playing so I'll get back with you after this is resolved. Maybe some flowers or a nice restaurant dinner will change her mind. Hmmmm...

February 3, 2007 at 05:48 PM · Sarah chang has a great CD out called "Sweet Sorrow". It contains beautiful and sad pieces that just pull at your heart. Listen to it and you'll find someting! JR

February 3, 2007 at 05:50 PM · the Vitali Chaconne takes the lead in sad, but beautiful! When my violin teacher retired and moved out of state, I played this for him as my "gift" to him for all he taught me.

You can find an exquisite rendering of this piece on a CD called "Sweet Sorrow" by Sarah Chang. VJ

February 3, 2007 at 07:07 PM · It really depends on what you mean by “sad”. According to wikdictionary, sad means:

1.Feeling mentally uncomfortable when something is missing or wrong (“She gets sad when he's away.”)

2. Low in spirits, melancholy. (“ Poor puppy, you look so sad…”)

3.(of a song, etc.) moving, full of feeling. (“The Great Gaels of Ireland God truly made mad. For, all their wars are merry and all their songs are sad. ―G.K. Chesterton”)

4.Poor in quality, lacking in character.

“That's the saddest-looking pickup truck I've ever seen.”

Not hard to take your pick:)

February 8, 2007 at 08:18 PM · Apres un Reve (after a dream) by Faure

There is a good cello recording on

February 8, 2007 at 08:29 PM · Hey guys, I repeat - Kaddish by Ravel.


February 9, 2007 at 12:40 PM · Some of the Kreisler tunes...Capprice Viennois, Liebeswhatever, check these out...however some are deceptively difficult.

February 10, 2007 at 07:10 AM · How about

Bach Chaconne

Rachmaninov Vocalise

Medatation (Massanet)

The Cantabile from the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

Saint-Saens the Swan

Adagio from the Beethoven violin concerto or Brahms

hope that helps.

February 10, 2007 at 09:30 PM · If you can rustle up a pianist, try Elegy for Violin and Piano by Gerald Finzi. A beautiful, wistful little romantic piece with as catchy a melody as you'll ever hear.

February 12, 2007 at 04:41 AM · Hi all,

I'm a new member here. However, I am not new to violin playing. I'm quite seasoned. How about Cannon in D. It is easy to play and there are many variations. It sounds great with a cello and 2 other violins...maybe a viola if you can find a player. Cannon is D can be played pretty much like a "round" row row row your boat. It will bring tears to every eye associated to the ear that listens.

I like many of the suggestions above. I'll give them a try.

Prodigy Violinist _ Erick

March 13, 2007 at 03:27 PM · Chaccone by Vitali

Bruch Concerto 2. mvt. 1

Bruch Concerto 3. mvt. 1

Bruch Scottish Fantasy mvt 1

Saint Saens Concerto 3. mvt 1

Bruch Serenade for Violin and Orchestra mvt. 1

i think chaccone is a good one

March 13, 2007 at 05:28 PM · Bach 's Chaconne !!

Whats more dramatic than Bachs Chaconne ???


March 13, 2007 at 05:56 PM · Vitali Chaconne. See if you can find the Heifetz recording w/ organ accomp. I believe Sarah Chang has one w/ orch.

April 18, 2007 at 01:44 AM · The Kaddisch might not be technically dazzling - but boy o boy is it difficult musically - very difficult piece to play convincingly - every note being savoured and played with emotion, and of course not playing the Kaddisch on the violin, but singing it

April 18, 2007 at 02:04 PM · I find it interesting that my several immediate ideas came to others, too. Something about commonality of perception. I like Kaddish, Kol Nidre, Meditation from Thais, Ashokan Farewell. If you are thinking "not classical", there are many great movie themes out there full of pathos and nostalgia. Gone with the Wind, The Thornbirds, Lonesome Dove. Jay Ungar has another great little piece based on the Mardi Gras song which he follows with a kick-up fiddle tune; not a bad symbolism there. It's on his Appalachian CD. Sue

April 18, 2007 at 03:38 PM · Ray--you make me laugh.

I wonder if there's a violin transcription for my favorite sad piece--The Faure Elegie for Cello. That piece breaks my heart every time I hear it played. It takes a day to recover.

And, isn't there a beautiful Elegie by Elgar? And what about the Chopin Nocturne--there's a transcription of that one.

April 18, 2007 at 06:19 PM · I'm with Sander. Kaddish all the way.

Or if that's too much trouble, the 1st movement of Bach's f minor sonata for violin and keyboard.

April 18, 2007 at 06:28 PM · I think for sad, the second movement of the Kabelevsky concerto is very sad, and there is a middle section a little more up tempo before returning to the sad theme.


April 18, 2007 at 06:31 PM · I really like the Andante from the Bach A minor solo sonata (the third movement). It gives me a really nostalgic feeling.

April 19, 2007 at 03:38 PM · From: Skowronski: Classical Recordings

Mr. Pressman recommended the Solo Sonata No. 2, Opus 31, by Paul Hindemith. We endorse his choice and suggest our critically acclaimed disc featuring this rarely recorded work as presented on SKOWRONSKI: ALONE, available from--

Audio clips are provided.

Best regards, S:CR

April 19, 2007 at 06:51 PM · Possibly the saddest piece in the entire violin literature is the:

Tomaso Albinoni "Adagio in G minor"

Ted Kruzich

April 19, 2007 at 06:58 PM · I second the Albinoni. Absolutely, gut wrenchingly sad...

April 19, 2007 at 07:18 PM · Vitali Chaccone is a very sad piece specially for me. I played it for my father about five minutes before he passed away. Can't hear it or play it without blurring eyes...

April 19, 2007 at 11:22 PM · FROM: Alan: I have some recordings

Mr. Kruzich recommended the Albinioni Adagio by Albinioni, to be played adagio. We endorse his choice and suggest we don't have any disc featuring this often recorded work, but if we did it would be critically panned because we can't play for beans even though we try. This comment is presented on VIOLINIST.COM and I'm all ALONE, but still not available from -- anywhere.

Audio clips of my playing are provided live shortly before bedtime at my house.

Regards: Give My Best of Them To Broadway

April 19, 2007 at 11:22 PM · Chopin C-sharp nocturne

April 20, 2007 at 01:20 AM · FROM: Gerety, no decent recordings yet

TO: Alan Wittert

Ms. Gerety finds your comments amusing, and STILL wonders why Mr. Skowronski always refers to himself in the third person. :) (She also endorses Mr. Sords' suggestion of the Chopin.)

Give My Regards to Budapest ;)

April 20, 2007 at 01:57 AM · A little pedagogical trick for your edification and certainly not aforementioned. Get a copy of the Bach cello suites arranged for viola, and do the 1st movt of the d minor suite, pretending you're holding a'll sound in a minor and certainly offer the plaintive pathos you desire.

April 20, 2007 at 02:49 AM · I have to agree with all the recommendations for Achron's Hebrew Melody . . . it is extremely haunting.

Also, you might like the Adagio from Bach's G minor sonata.

April 20, 2007 at 03:11 AM · Thank you, Maura.

Vince, can you speak in the first person like the rest of us mortals? :) Enjoyed your Ysaye g moll, by the way :)

April 23, 2007 at 09:42 AM · Hi there,

See this one :

"Ballade pour violon et orchestre de Ciprian Porumbescu"

You can hear this ballade here:

Best regards

April 24, 2007 at 03:51 PM · From: Skowronski: Classical Recordings

"Enjoyed your Ysaye G Minor."

Thank you, Andrew, for your laconic yet meaningful 'review.' We very much appreciate your feedback and interest in our work.

As an aside, we hope you investigate Mr. Skowronski's Ysaye No. 2 and 5. They're pretty persuasive as well.

NOTE: The 'other stuff' available from the Skowronski catalog is fairly convincing, too!

Many happy returns, Andrew, on your upcoming recitals and programs. And we hope to be hearing from you in the future.



April 24, 2007 at 04:25 PM · How about the 1st movement (Adagio) from Bach Solo Sonata in G minor? I find it very sad music, and that feeling was reinforced when I learnt that it was written soon after Bach returned to Leipzig after a long absence, to find not only had his beloved second wife died, but she was also buried.

Let me know what you think.

April 24, 2007 at 06:12 PM · Thanks, Vincent. You've certainly been doing very recently, it seems! I thoroughly enjoyed the Mendelssohn article, and agree.

Sad themes? How about a second movement from a major Romantic concerto? :)

April 24, 2007 at 07:49 PM · Try the solo arrangement for Amazing Grace by Mark O'Connor. It's beautiful!

April 25, 2007 at 03:46 AM · My personal favorite is Hebrew Melody (Achron). After hearing it on The Art of the Violin, I was drawn to it. The others sound interesting, I'll have to listen to them some time (I love sad pieces, they're full of emotion).

April 25, 2007 at 02:20 PM · Andrew, you just reminded me of the Bach Double second movement. I guess you'd need a partner for that one and it's not anywhere near as sad as some of the other pieces already mentioned, but the second mvmt of the Bach Double is sublime! Thanks for reminding me which Chopin Nocuturne, btw. I couldn't remember which one when I posted earlier.

April 26, 2007 at 03:02 AM · Why not play a happy piece really badly?

April 26, 2007 at 04:14 AM · Greetings,

or just change everything to the minor and play it half speed.



April 26, 2007 at 05:05 AM · Hy,

You could try Balada from Ciprian Porumbescu. Here's a link to listen to:

April 26, 2007 at 12:13 PM · okay, this is really obvious, and can't believe no one's said it -- schindler's list!! :) my favorite... and it's classic, everyone loves it.

also, bloch's nigun... khatchaturian concerto's 2nd mov is also gorgeous.


PS: have just realised you posted in january and you've probably decided on a piece by now... sorry :P what piece are you doing? :)

April 26, 2007 at 01:33 PM · meditation by thais? vaughn williams the lark ascending? um beethoven romance (i dont know which one).

April 28, 2007 at 08:24 PM · I saw that someone mentioned Sarah Chang's album "Sweet Sorrow" earlier - it is an excellent repository for 'sad' pieces, with both orchestra and piano accompaniment. Also, I would try the Chausson Poeme, Zigeunerweisen (Sarasate), and the Dvorak Romance in F minor.

Sorry if I repeated a few!

June 9, 2008 at 03:53 PM · Hindemith Op. 31 no. 2 for a high school senior? No disrespect, but having played it very recently, I seriously question that choice.

June 9, 2008 at 04:36 PM · Vidui from "Baal Shem" by Ernest Bloch qualifies but it's a bit tricky short notice and perhaps for your level. Don't be afraid to try something below your current level like Seitz #2, Adagio. It's beautiful and a quick learn for a person who plays Mozart. A piece doesn't have to be difficult to be appreciated by the typical audience.

June 11, 2008 at 02:21 PM · Try Thais Meditation or Estrellita By Ponce

June 11, 2008 at 03:47 PM · The first piece that comes to mind is bach's prelude from his 2nd cello suite.

I'm probably way too late, though. What did you end up playing?

June 12, 2008 at 02:41 PM · Even though this is late, I thought I would throw some in anyway.....

Tchaikovsky "Serenade Melancolique"

Grieg "The Last Spring" sweetly sad.

Resphigi "The Dove" from his Suite "The Birds" this is gorgeous although you might need to arrange it to cut the mid section, not difficult though. In F# minor, super sad key! It sounds great on viola especially)

Bach A minor concerto 2nd mvt

Dvorak "Romance"

Grieg "Solveig's Song" from Peer Gynt

Sibeleus "Valse Trieste"

June 12, 2008 at 03:57 PM · Serenade Melancolique is s wonderful piece, there's a great recording by Menuhin.

Another good "sad" one is the Elegy for violin and piano by Gerald Finzi.

June 12, 2008 at 04:28 PM · There is also the lovely Albumblat by Wagner-Wilhelmj. It, however, is for violin and piano.

Another is the Intermezzo by Prevost which is also for piano accompaniment. It's the soundtrack piece from the 1940's movie of the same name.

June 12, 2008 at 04:36 PM · There's Stravinsky's Elegy written in 1944 for solo viola but published as an alternative version for solo violin. Not too long, lots of double stopping. Definitely sad.

June 12, 2008 at 08:32 PM · I'm surprised no one has mentioned Chopin's Nocturne in C# minor "Doubtful." This is a wonderful piece, VERY sad, incredibly emotional, and relatively short (roughly 4 1/2 minutes). Many soloists play this as an encore, but it'd be perfect for a recital. It does, however, have a piano accompaniment.

June 12, 2008 at 10:47 PM · The Bach Violin Sonata/Partita IV in d minor,

the Sarabanda movement is really beautiful, terribly sad/minor, and really moving.

AND- it's unaccompianied.

It's one of my favorite pieces.

Or if you can find the arrangement,

Massenet's Elegie

but it probably has an accompiament.

June 13, 2008 at 05:02 PM · There are many lamments and airs in the Irish traditional repertoire that are sad and inspiring.

June 7, 2010 at 10:52 PM ·

Theme from Schindlers List.

June 8, 2010 at 01:14 PM ·

It has been a couple of years since I last commented on this discussion thread, but I will repeat it again - Kaddish by Maurice Ravel.
Cheers (or Laments),

January 28, 2012 at 02:15 AM · I can't find Kaddish by Maurice Ravel music sheet for sale online anywhere. Where can I get a music sheet copy?


January 28, 2012 at 10:29 PM · Try here:

January 29, 2012 at 04:13 AM · Meditation from Thais

January 29, 2012 at 04:55 AM · Tchaikovsky's " None but the Lonely Hearts " and

Shostakovich's " Gadfly ".


January 29, 2012 at 01:22 PM · I don't know about anyone else, but I'm looking up, what I'm not familiar with already, on youtube. *sniff* I need another tissue....

January 29, 2012 at 01:25 PM · Kaddish:

Devil's Trill:

January 29, 2012 at 01:27 PM · Schindler's List:

January 29, 2012 at 07:12 PM · i like 'Come back to Sorento' - it's changes from minor to major in a most heartbreaking way. Pavarotti sang it in Italian.....

January 29, 2012 at 08:10 PM · This thread has been around for almost exactly 5 years. Now THAT'S sad.

January 29, 2012 at 10:31 PM · I see that the Devil's Trill sonata has been mentioned as sad, but if you want some even sadder Tartini try the last movement of the sonata 'Didone Abbandonata'.

January 30, 2012 at 01:26 PM · It is really very simple: just play everything and anything miserably.

January 30, 2012 at 02:53 PM · Or anything played by Christian Ferras...

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