A comment about Bruckner symphonies on another thread got me to thinking about violin parts in the symphonic repertoire. I have my own biases: since I play 2nd violin, I care about how interesting my part is. Brahms, Mahler and Prokofiev write excellent second violin parts. Mozart second violin parts are often harder than the firsts (think finale to the Jupiter symphony). On the other hand, Strauss waltzes are painfully tedious, and New Year's Eve is a musical black hole. I do not enjoy playing Bruckner symphonies but I definitely don't mind bowing them.
What are your favorite orchestral violin parts (first or second), and why? What pieces do you dread seeing on the schedule?
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