What Solo/concerto should I play?

November 5, 2008 at 07:51 PM ·

Hello everyone,

I am a junior in high school and I need a new concerto or solo to work on for a competition in February-March. I am currently working on the 1st Accolay Concerto in A minor and in my youth orchestra we are just about to perform beethoven's first symphony and The Thieving magpie by Rossini. (I play first violin) I am looking for a concerto I can play about that level of music, so please post your ideas.




Replies (31)

November 5, 2008 at 09:46 PM ·

Bruch concerto? I would imagine the Mendelssohn would be much too hard. As far as other pieces, maybe Recitativo and Scherzo by Kriesler, or Tambourin chinois. Or something along those lines. Or maybe solo Bach.

But the Bruch is considered one of the easier concertos of the major ones.

I right now am working on the second movement of the Tchaikovsky Concerto, Canzonetta. It is the easiest of the three movements, but still very impressive and beautiful and leaves room for a wide range of emotion to come through.

November 5, 2008 at 10:35 PM ·

Hmm... I would definitely not skip right from Accolay to Bruch. Bruch has all kinds of tricky stuff in it (octaves, lots of double stops/chords, runs in high positions, LOTS of bow control issues).

Maybe a Vivaldi concerto that you could play really well (a minor?) - if this is a competition for a solo with orchestra, Vivaldi is a GREAT choice - you could even do it conductorless if you win. Other than than, you might consider the Severn "Polish Dance", the Massanet "Meditation from Thais", or for more of a stretch technically, the de Beriot "Scene de Ballet"

Or why not just play the Accolay at a really high level?

November 5, 2008 at 11:16 PM ·

Maybe  de Beriot #9?

November 5, 2008 at 11:23 PM ·


I wouldn`t jump to the Bruch either. De Beriot 9 is not a bad choice.  However,  although V.commie is great in many areas it is pretty useless for recommending next repertoire.  In the firts palce you should trust your teahcer.  In the second ,  it depends entirley on your specific needs.  Do you need better bow control,  more left hand technique,  a focus on musicality or spicatto or what?  Also people make weird developmentla jumps.   When I wa s akid I played De Beriot9 and then jumped to Wieniawski 2.  The Bruch would have been a bad choice because it make sexcpetional demands on the bow arm which would have tensed me up a lot at that time given the way I wa splaying.  But onlymy teahcer could have known that.



November 5, 2008 at 11:28 PM ·

How about Haydn G Major?  It has great character.

November 5, 2008 at 11:28 PM ·

Have you done the Bach a minor?  Haydn G Major? There's a Nardini in e minor (someone compiled the movements together) that's very dramatic in the beginning.    Sitt wrote a concerto in a minor and there are several concerti by Rieding.  Seitz #3 or 4 would also expand your technique.  DeBeriot 9, as mentioned before is also very dramatic.  Bruch would be way too much of a leap from Accolay. 

November 6, 2008 at 12:09 AM ·

 "The Bruch would have been a bad choice because it make sexcpetional demands on the bow arm which would have tensed me up a lot at that time given the way I wa splaying. "

Buri will singlehandedly cause vcom to be banned by those programs that filter websites for naughty content.

November 6, 2008 at 12:52 AM ·


Bad Buri!

November 6, 2008 at 01:05 AM ·

Welcome to violinist.com, Holly!

I'll be curious what answers you may get here. ;-)

First of all, I always trust Buri.  But beware of his prunes. =D  Take care of her Buri, introduce her gently...  She's one of mine.

Remember, any of these suggestions can probably be sampled on youtube, so if you don't know what Deberiot 9 sounds like, take a moment on there to find out.

BTW, I'm liking Deberiot and Haydn for you.  Would require lots of work to get a different concerto ready in time, though I bet you're up to the task Ms. Adavanced-placement-everything-in-school,-works-and-practices/performs-violin-solo-and-orchestral! =D

November 6, 2008 at 01:25 AM ·


the Haydn is beautiful, even with womb for improvement.



November 6, 2008 at 01:28 AM ·

Buri! [stern teacher face]

Hilarious as always. =D  But go eat a prune.

November 6, 2008 at 01:40 AM ·

Hi Tasha lol this is soooooo weird lol

I was actually going to ask you about this on Sunday, because I am thinking of taking Accolay to solo and ensemble but i need a different piece for my competition because I played the first part of Accolay for my oyo audition this year.

I totally was not expecting to find you here lol since i just joined the other night lol

November 6, 2008 at 01:48 AM ·

It is a bit weird, isn't it!  Glad to know I would at least get a vote... being your teacher and all! =P  jk.

Good to know about the Accolay's reason for exclusion.  Are you sure you can't double-dip on that one?  You'd really have a good handle on it by then. 

My next suggestions would be the Haydn G Major (similar in difficulty, but Classical vs. Romantic for technique) or maybe even DeBeriot 9.  Listen on youtube, see if it's on IMSLP.org (public domain free downloadable sheet music) and take a look!

November 6, 2008 at 02:10 AM ·

OK, I just double checked with my professor. He recommends these additions:

Mozart #2 in D Major

Seitz in G Minor


November 6, 2008 at 02:21 AM ·

I would second the De Beriot 9.  Wonderul little piece.  However, the Haydn is one of my favorite violin pieces.  If you're not looking just for a concerto, how about some small showpieces like Monti's Czardas?


I wish you luck in your career and your growth as a violinist!




November 6, 2008 at 02:31 AM ·

Another option might be the de Beriot Scene de Ballet but I'm not sure what else you have worked on, or if it would be completely appropriate at this time

November 6, 2008 at 02:35 AM ·

Thank you all for your additions ^___^ i am currently looking through all of them. Funny enough, I discovered the Bruch conceto earlier this week and love it, however- it does look much too difficult >.<


Something I should probably note, and it's quite important, I am supposed to keep this around the 5 minute mark or under, it doesn't matter if it's not exact. However, this would probably mean one movement only or so of a concerto/solo/sonata/whatever.


Again thanks for all the inputs and I will be sure to check them out :)

November 6, 2008 at 02:42 AM ·

Hey there again.  Just wanted to let you know that there have been lots of previous posts on this topic, and you might want to look there for more ideas.

btw, after all my teaching Sunday, I'm going to meet 2 greyhounds in Canada!

November 6, 2008 at 02:41 AM ·

You know-the Czardas fits in that time period.  I also think that the the first movement of the De Beriot # 9 does too.

Yes-the Bruch is very hard.  I am learning the second and third movements of it right now.  I have been playing the violin for over 10 years now, and I am very serious about it.  And the second movement is so fiendishly difficult!


Good luck.

November 6, 2008 at 03:42 AM ·

   I can only play the first two pages of the first movement of the Bruch concerto! But I'm sure you'll have it down soon. I'm too scared of the third movement to even play through it sight reading, I know I'm not ready, so I'm waiting on it.

And Holly, I too have to partcipate in my schools solo/ensemble in February. And It also has to be under the five minute mark which limits me a lot. Something I think you should look into is a movement from the Handel Sonata in F major. Largo is my favorite, but maybe you would like Adadgio. I still haven't learned Allegro and am not in a hurry to do so. The triplets kill me! I'm going back and forth between  Allegro, the first movement from the Sonata for Violin and Piano in E minor, KV 304, by Mozart; and Canzonetta; the second movement of the Tchaikovsky concerto, but it's over the 5 minute limit, and there aren't really places you can cut out.  But if you considered the Mozart Sonata, you don't have to take the repeats at measure 85 and 193, cutting the time; making it under five minutes. I like the piece a lot and think it has personality.

There are also other options like Allegro from Pieces de clavecin, Op.1 by Fiocco, but I don't know if that's too advanced for you (it is for me, I don't have it to full speed).  And pieces like Bercuse, Op.16 by Gabriel Faure. A very easy, but beautiful piece by Dvorak, Allegro moderato, from the Four Romantic Pieces could also maybe work. Or Siciliano from Bach's Sonata no.4 iin C minor; It's a difficult key signature for me, but you might not have any trouble with three flats. I don't know if someone suggested Bach's Concerto no.1 in A minor, or not, but I think it could be at your level maybe. But I haven't played the Accolay concerto or heard it, so I don't know it's difficulty. But the Bach concerto doesn't really go beyond third position, it's just fast. (I'm talking about the first movement). And one more, Allegro risoluto by Dvorak, it's the first movement from the G Major sonata. I like the piece a lot, and it's a little difficult, but is impressive, It doesn't go beyond third position. It is also another option I am considering for my solo because it stays below the limit (barely).

So yeah, lots of suggstions, I don't know your level of playing, so you and your teacher may think many of them are too difficult or too easy.

November 6, 2008 at 04:04 AM ·


the following two conertos are also underrated in my opinion:

Viotti 23

Mendelssohn D minor



November 6, 2008 at 08:35 PM ·

Both of those concertos are beautiful scales Buri :-) 




November 6, 2008 at 09:24 PM ·

Maybe Mozart 3 in G major. I think I played it after Bach A minor and about that time I also looked at Accolay (though I never learned it with a teacher). Play a piece that allows you to play well and at the same time helps you become a better violinist.

November 6, 2008 at 09:39 PM ·

Hi Jon,

I visited your site today and just wanted to say it's excellent. I enjoyed listening to the recordings and the graduated shading phrase by phrase is superb.Is that you playing or another violinist you recorded? I'm not sure if those solo works are good for Holly right now but I'm definitely interested in learning them. Aaron Rosand's recordings of these works I listen to frequently.



November 6, 2008 at 09:35 PM ·

Hi Craig,

I'm glad you enjoyed the site!  The violinist on the recording is Peter Sheppard Skærved...the music is by de Beriot :-)




November 6, 2008 at 11:00 PM ·


Johnathon, you speak truth! The same can be said about the Beethoven perhaps?

However,  ther eare certain passages in between the scales of the viotti in particalr that make very subtle artistic demand son the player.  Ogften young (and old and inbetween) players have no sense of the whole.  This cocnerto is treated as a kind of series of irritating little chunks that are cobble dtogether.  To retain a sense of the whole and play the ornamented melodies with poise and presision is no mean feat and will sand a player in good stead for Mozart and the later greats.



November 6, 2008 at 11:22 PM ·

I was not dissmissing these concertos by any meansl :-) Those are two of my favorite concertos...as well the Beethoven. 



November 7, 2008 at 12:48 AM ·

I think the opening F Major scale from the slow movement of Haydn Concerto #2 can be the most beautiful ever.  

November 7, 2008 at 01:22 AM ·


>I was not dissmissing these concertos by any meansl :-)

I know...;)



November 9, 2008 at 12:35 AM ·

Wow! overload of information lol

It is going to take me a while to look into all these (and my lack of time doesn't help >.<;;)

However, I'm sure Tasha and I will go over this list tomorrow. I am leaning towards playing the Accolay for both the S&E and concerto competition. Although, I do need a different piece to play in April for the next OYO audition and any other youth orchestras I try out for ^___^. And then thinking quite far ahead I will need something to play for college auditions early in my senior year.

January 5, 2011 at 07:41 PM ·

Just looking at this topic - might be relevant for the recent one on repertoire.

Also wondered what happened with Holly, what she played, how it went and where she is now :)

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