What to play after Viotti 22?

December 18, 2014 at 07:32 PM ·

Replies (20)

December 18, 2014 at 08:40 PM · Vieuxtemps concerti, start with no.5, good for technique.

December 18, 2014 at 08:41 PM · There's a fairly big spread between Kabalevsky, Khachaturian, Wieniawski 2nd, and Saint-Saens 3rd -- they all have their unique set of challenges but the Kabalevsky is much easier than the other three.

Have you done the de Beriot "Scene de Ballet"? Or Mozart 4 or 5?

December 18, 2014 at 08:53 PM · #23? :)

December 18, 2014 at 09:12 PM · Viotti #23 is much easier than #22. And as Lydia said, Kabalevsky is much easier than the other three concertos you mentioned, so that is a very strange grouping. I actually think Kabalevsky would be a really good choice for you given your level, but if you don't like it....

DeBeriot Scene de Ballet or Concerto #9, or Conus concerto, perhaps.

December 19, 2014 at 05:10 AM · How about Spohr No. 2.

December 19, 2014 at 12:25 PM ·

December 19, 2014 at 01:43 PM · why not Bruch Gminor? Seems logical after viotti 22... and its wonderful music...

December 19, 2014 at 03:36 PM · Lalo Symphonie Espagnol movements 1,2,and 4.

December 19, 2014 at 03:38 PM · Mozart, Bruch. Can do Conus if you can tolerate it. Don't know what list would put Saint-Saens, Wieniawki right after Viotti, even if S-S tends to be put later in most lists than it really needs to be.

December 19, 2014 at 03:53 PM · My teacher has put me on Vieuxtemps 2 after Viotti 22. I don't have any particular love for Vieuxtemps, but it has been growing on me - It has a number of different problems to fix (especially on how to make certain passages musical), and encourages a cleanness in technique. It might be worth a shot unless you really dislike it, and after you play it, Wieniawski shouldn't be a problem (or so I've been told).

December 19, 2014 at 04:34 PM · Bruch is another step up in difficulty beyond the Kabalevsky. I think at this level that the short works are actually better than the concertos, at least from a "fun and musical" perspective.

December 19, 2014 at 06:00 PM · In my university they have a teaching scheme that is basically like this: In the first 4 semesters you should learn those not-so-repertoire things (Viotti etc.) to build a strong technique and start to deal with musicality. (Yes, unfortunately where I live, most musicians only get in touch with a real good teacher when they go to the university or right before that, so it's completely unusual for us to enter university playing big repertoire things). Then on the 5th semester you must play a classical concerto, then on 6th a complete Bach solo sonata and partita, then only on the 7th semester we play a major romantic concerto. So although I'd love it, I think Bruch and Mozart are out of question for now.

December 19, 2014 at 07:44 PM · May I say something that you may not like, but I think might need to be heard? You said a lot in your original post that you don't like like this piece and that piece etc.

If you intend to be a musician it will be necessary to play pieces you "don't like"; both in orchestras and solos. When you're in training, I would trust your teacher to choose appropriate pieces for you to help you develop into a well-rounded musician. Once you are a "fully-formed" musician you can develop specific preferences for pieces or composers that you choose to play. But that is a privilege reserved for musicians who have completed their formation training. Be patient - that time will come. In the meantime try to find something valuable in each piece you're given to play. You'll become an even better musician for it.

Best of luck to you!

December 19, 2014 at 10:26 PM · Bev has a point, although I suspect that most people work harder on things that they enjoy playing.

In thinking about it, though, I wonder if the OP doesn't like 20th-century music -- i.e., the Kabalevsky and the Khachaturian. OP, if you haven't done a 20th-century work before, you should *definitely* do one for the sake of your musical education. Kabalevsky is a perfectly good choice for that.

When I was 15, my teacher insisted that we devote one semester to doing mostly 20th-century repertoire. I got to pick the first concerto (Barber) and he decided he would pick the second to force me outside of my listening comfort zone (Prokofiev No. 1, which I did not especially like at first but grew to love). He also made me do Webern's Four Pieces. I loathed every second of the Webern (it's 12-tone and I find the musical language totally inaccessible), but I did learn a lot nevertheless.

December 20, 2014 at 06:21 AM · Wait, you did Prokofiev #1 at 15? That is crazy hard, much harder than #2, and I would not teach #2 to a high school student. Barber is reasonable.

December 20, 2014 at 06:37 PM · I feel like I should probably defend my teacher here. ;-)

Yup, I did #1 at 15. I had never heard it before my teacher assigned it -- completely fell in love with it when playing it. When I eventually came back to the violin as an adult, I performed it with a community orchestra, and then got a chance to do it with orchestra again, in a bunch of youth symphony rehearsals (San Francisco symphony concertmaster Alexander Barantschik had agreed to donate them the performance of the concerto but wanted no rehearsals other than a pre-performance run-through, so they had to find someone who had performed the concerto with orchestra who was willing to do all the rehearsals for free). So it's difficult but still credibly doable by a semi-rusty amateur, too.

Amusingly, auditioning for a teacher with #1, as a teenager, he stopped me and asked me to play Mozart No. 4 from memory (a concerto which I hadn't touched for years at that point), saying that a young violinist can dazzle with pyrotechnics but the degree of precision in Mozart is how he can really judge a player. :-)

The Barber at the time didn't pose any technical challenge. We ended up zipping through it, somewhat to my regret, since I really like it. I don't think my teacher would have taught it at all if I hadn't really wanted to play it.

I did the Tchaikovsky after the Prokofiev No. 1, so the sequence of difficulty probably wasn't unreasonable. (I did not learn No. 2 until very recently.) I don't think either of these works is too hard to be assigned to high schoolers -- especially the Prokofiev, whose mixed bag of techniques is really great training -- if there's the expectation that the student has the technique to get all the notes. There are plenty of YouTube videos that show teenagers playing hugely difficult works, immaculately. (It should probably be noted that I was playing at a level that likely would have gotten me into a top conservatory -- my stand partners ended up going to Juilliard, Curtis, and Peabody -- but I never had any interest in doing music for a living despite the enticement of teachers telling me, "You could become a soloist!")

Having taken two basically decade-long breaks from the instrument, I don't play anywhere near my teenage level now, unfortunately (indeed, I don't even play at the level of before my second long break, much to my regret).

Sorry for the thread digression!

December 22, 2014 at 08:07 PM · Have you ever played the Mendelssohn?

December 22, 2014 at 08:32 PM · My suggestion is Bériot Concerto No. 9, or Mozart 4 or 5.

For more of a technical challenge that is at your level, here are some other options-

Good at double stops and nice sound: Bruch G minor

Good at fast passages and strong sound: Lalo Symphonie Espangole

If you fall between both of those: Saint-Saens No. 3

December 23, 2014 at 11:15 AM · Bev, I understand your point, but there are so many options there must be something that both fits my level and that I like. I think I'll do much better playing something I like.

Laurie, no, never. In my school they leave those major concerti to the end of the course.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I'm going with Vieuxtemps 2 as my teacher suggests me. After listening to it many times I couldn't see why I didn't like it so I'll do it.

December 28, 2016 at 04:53 AM · Speaking of the difficulty of Prokofiev, I think a high school violin student seeking admission to a top conservatory pretty much has to be able to handle anything these days.

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