Advanced Intermediate Repertoire

December 14, 2009 at 09:32 PM ·

I am formulating a list of advanced intermediate literature for violin. The level of pieces should be at the difficulty level of Bruch g minor concerto, Mendelssohn, Saint Saens #3, Lalo , or Sinding Suite. Any suggestions?

Replies (33)

December 15, 2009 at 02:26 AM ·

Oh brother, is that rep still in intermediate, then .....

December 15, 2009 at 02:47 AM ·

Mozart?  Challenging on so many levels.  I have a friend who progressed from Spring from the 4 seasons to Kabalevsky to Vieuxtemps 4. 


P.S. Do you think Bruch is appropriate after Mozart 3?  I'm not too good at double/triple stop chords, but what do you think?



December 15, 2009 at 03:02 AM ·

Lalo, intermediate???  Impossible, many great masters didn't play the famous "5th mvt" because they were too scared and called it unplayable...


December 15, 2009 at 04:30 AM ·


I have this eccentric belief that there are two absolutely fundamental composers that fit this gap perfectly:  Vieuxtemps and DeBeriot.  The latter is perhaps slightly easier. For Vieuxtemps the firts piece i give is the Ballade and Polonaise which was,  I belive,  actually written as a pedagogic woprk. Nonetheless both Hubermann and Heifetz have recorded it.  Aside from cncerot no9 of De Beroit I find both no2 and no 3 well worth careful study and truly exclelent preparation for `Meaty` works. I also put Spohr no1 and the Gezangscena (recently recorded by Hahn) in this category.  Other excellent works are the concerto by Colerdige Taylor and Bazzini no 3. The latter is somewhat more virtuostic but he is a very lyrical composer.



December 15, 2009 at 05:29 AM ·

I appreciate the various comments. I realize that Lalo 5th movement is far more difficult than the first -4th movements. Similarly, Bruch G minor 3rd movement is much more challenging than the first 2. I am intrigued by Mr. Brivati's suggestions. I will certainly look into them. I am just getting bored with teaching the same thing over and over. Of course Mozart Concertos are on the list, but a lot of students just don't like them.

December 15, 2009 at 02:17 PM ·

I've been reading through the deBeriot concertos, thanks to IMSLP.  #4 is pretty tricky, and harder than #7 or #9. 

Not a concerto, but I learned the Mozart/Kreisler Rondo in college, and found it really helpful for spiccato issues.  Fun piece too.


December 15, 2009 at 06:40 PM ·

Bruce, why do students don't like Mozart concertos? Because they are legendary tough to play well and so easy to sound "boring" but never boring with a good player... (as many pieces can be boring when not played with maturity)   I have heard a few students (very advanced) tell that they hated Mozart or were sick of it but maybe it is just because they have bad memories of it... and the feeling to never be satisfy.  I think the music is one thing and our experience with it another.  But I'm not saying it's your case. Not at all. Just that for many students it is.


December 16, 2009 at 04:01 AM ·


Anne, yep, the DeBeriot early cocnertos are somewhat more demanding tehcnically.   I don`t think 9 is that hard at all but it@s all relative since it has to be done well which is always hard! Actually, I have been getting more and more into DeBeriot over the last few years and I find him intriguing.  His works often look technically very difficult at a glance but when one explores them further they are typically extremely natural and vilnistic in terms of technique.  Of course this is a truism since he wa s agreta violinsit but somehow he seems to me to succedd in writing -very- playable viruouso stuff as a kind of oxymoron.   Among my favorite etides which I hand out in tandem with the cocnertos are the six etudes brilliant.  Those also look somewhat tricky but are very accesible once the light bulb goes on.   One thing I strongly feel form his works is that he had a very great aptitude for long and elegant bow strokes with very sensitive nuances.  In technical terms I think you just have to have a really hyper relaxed and flexible technique to pull his works off and it isthis quality which I think is so helpful in being on top of things -before- playing the Bruch and Mendelssohn so that one can then sit back in thes esomewhat higher level(?) works and strive for music rather than struggle with the notes .   Another composer who I think is also veyr useful in this respect is Dancla.   I love his opus 73 etudes which are pretty much equivalent to the rode/Dont caprices and really help to develop an elegant set of virtuouso chops.

Incidentally, another cocnerto I really like which doesn`t seem to get a break is the Tartini d minor.  It was championed by Szigeti who is available on video playing it and also soemthing of a favorite of Josef Gingold.  Its a veyr hard one to pull off.



December 16, 2009 at 04:20 AM ·


Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't there two Tartini D Minor Concertos?  If so, which one are you referring to?

December 16, 2009 at 10:45 PM ·


if you play the two together you get a ghostly 3rd concerto which is referred to as a `Tartini Tune.`

Anne- check out the last movement of DeBeriot concerto no3.  Fantastic preparation for the last movement of thre Mendelssohn (andit`s almost in the same key......)



December 17, 2009 at 03:02 AM ·

Buri, I already read through the 3rd concerto.  When is the test?

December 17, 2009 at 03:52 AM ·

you have to busk outside the pearly gates....

December 17, 2009 at 05:22 AM ·

I'll need to check with the union first.

December 17, 2009 at 05:45 AM ·

`one out, all out`  could get a tad pongy in this case....

December 17, 2009 at 01:39 PM ·

Barber Concerto

December 17, 2009 at 07:05 PM ·

Buri, pongy maybe, but consider all the overtime...

December 17, 2009 at 07:45 PM ·

 nothing to spend it on except discounted harp strings...

December 17, 2009 at 08:33 PM ·

...and a shiny halo...

December 17, 2009 at 08:46 PM ·

And now that Bruce's useful and interesting thread has been ridiculously hijacked, I'm going to go hang my head in shame.

December 18, 2009 at 01:24 AM ·


so, to get back ont rack - ther eis always the Mozkowski cocnerto. Very good work.



December 18, 2009 at 04:21 AM ·

Never heard, is it a mix between Mozart and Tchaikovsky!!!  ; )   


December 21, 2009 at 06:12 AM ·

To possibly stir the imagination, I have listed below some other possibilities. I really do want to have a long list and I appreciate the addition of the obscure. The Bazzini which I have looked at seems way too difficult to be included. The various DeBeberiots and Coleridge-Taylor seem to be good possibilities. Thanks so much for your posts. Bruce

Viotti 22

Bruch Scotch fanatasy (except for last movement)

Goldmark Concerto

Saint Saens Rondo Capriccioso

Sarasate Malaguena

Tartini Devils Trill Sonata


December 21, 2009 at 11:19 AM ·


hadn`t realized we weren`t sticking to concertos. In that case...

Messiaen- Theme and Variations.

Paginini- Moses Fantasy.

Bloch-  -All- the Baal Shem Suite.

Conus Concerto.

The Szigeti Collection (some amazing pieces)

Novacek- Perpetual Motion.

Vieuxtemps- Fantasy Appasionata.



January 2, 2010 at 11:23 PM ·

I would say that these pieces would be good in order of difficulty


Scene De ballet deberiot

Concerto 3 Mozart

Violin concerto in g min Bruch

Vitali Ciaccona

Ba'al shem Bloch

polonaise brilliante in A  wieniawski



January 3, 2010 at 03:44 AM ·

I appreciate all the responses. Here is my very incomplete list of concertos and semi-substantial pieces. They are in no particular order. I am thinking of trying to order them in difficulty, but it is almost impossible to do this. For instance, the last movement of Bruch Scotch Fantasy is very difficult and doesn't fit in with this group. i have also not have had enough time to look at some of the less known literature.  The problem we have as teachers, even on the college level concerns decent pianists to play with students. Prokofiev D major sonata is a great and challenging piece fo most violinists, but pianists are in short supply so I can't add it to the list. Bruce

Sinding Suite in A minor

Viotti  #22, 23 Concerto

Bruch #1 , #2,  Scotch fanatasy

Goldmark concerto

Saint Saens Rondo Capriccioso

Sarasate Malaguena

Tartini Devils Trill Sonata

Leclair D major sonata

Mozart Rondo (Kreisler)

Vieuxtemps Ballade and Polonaise

Deberiot Concertos 9, 2,3, Scene de Ballet

Coleridge Taylor, Concerto

Tartini d minor sonata

Dancla, various pieces?

Mozkovski concerto

Messiaen- Theme and Variations.

Paginini- Moses Fantasy

Bloch Baal Shem Suite.

Mozart 3, 4, 5 concertos

Conus Concerto

Mendelssohn Concerto

Khatchaturian Concerto

Barber Concerto (mvt. 1,2)

Wieniawski #2

Lalo Symphonie Espagnole

Vieuxtemps #4, 5 concertos

Saint Saens concerto #3

Novacek- Perpetual Motion.

polonaise brilliante in A  wieniawski

Vitali Ciaccona (revised)

Kreisler Praeludium and Allegro

Spohr Concerto #8



January 6, 2010 at 03:03 AM ·

Locatelli  Labyrinth

January 10, 2010 at 07:43 PM ·

 What to work on after Mozart 3?  My teacher and I were discussing this today.  I have always wanted to learn "The Lark Ascending".  I basically want to do something that's not a concerto or sonata...


July 25, 2014 at 11:48 PM · I found this while on a wild goose chase for something on Vieuxtemps 4 and I saw the comment about the Lalo 5th movement being called "unplayable." It makes me laugh a little since when my teacher suggested the piece to me he said that the last movement was "fun" to play and talked down the difficulty of the concerto-ish-thing saying things like there aren't any double stops. Definitely a different vibe.

July 27, 2014 at 09:58 AM · Thanks for digging it up William, an interesting list of pieces. I wish someone had tried to list them in order of difficulty - even better for order for main aspects (virtuosity, musicality etc).

July 27, 2014 at 04:31 PM · I'm always partial to the violinist composers. I introduce my students to Kreisler as soon as possible. Liebesleid and Schon Rosmarin are great for developing style and violinistic feeling. Later on, at what we seem to be calling the intermediate level, I'm glad to see Preludium and Allegro on your list as well as the Mozart Rondo. Perhaps also Liebesfreud, Caprice Viennois and some of the volume 2 pieces including the Dvorak Slavonic Dances and Songs My Mother Taught me. Also I would include some more Sarasate. Definitely Zigeunerweisen is not any more difficult than many pieces on the list. Also Romanza Andaluza. And Legende by Wieniawski.

July 28, 2014 at 03:27 AM · Wow, what a huge range of pieces for advanced intermediate. Did I see Sinding Suite? Really!? On the same list as Preludium and Allegro?

July 28, 2014 at 04:04 AM · @Corwin: It's about right. Keep in mind there's going to be varying degrees of difficulties within this intermediate-advance level. So say somebody entering this level would start Mozart/Bruch/etc while later on they'd move on to Sinding, Saint-SaĆ«ns, Vieuxtemps, etc. Once you're in this level of playing a whole world opens up far as repertoire and everything is within ones reach. Least that's my take.:)

July 30, 2014 at 10:24 PM · I would also add in the other concertante works by Bruch, such as the Romance, In Memoriam, Konzertstuck and the Adagio Appassionato. Ok the Romance is well known, but the others are criminally under-performed.

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