Nardini E Minor

July 8, 2015 at 01:14 AM · I love the Nardini E Minor concerto. I think it is beautiful and well ahead of its time. But for as long as I've been teaching I've never had a single student who liked it. Even some of my most accommodating students who enjoyed everything I handed them did not like studying it. Has anyone else had similar experience teaching the Nardini? Is it a generational thing? Or do I just fail at inspiring appreciation of this one?

Replies (23)

July 8, 2015 at 01:36 AM · I don't think it is a generational thing. I have never liked this concerto and was so grateful that I did not have to study it. I just find the opening theme distasteful. Am sure there must be something worthy about it, though, and will be glad to hear any comments in defense of it.

July 8, 2015 at 04:24 AM · I have only taught it once, and neither the student nor I particularly enjoyed it.

July 8, 2015 at 06:06 AM · Greetings,

the only thing I have hated more than this piece is my cat's bad breathe at four o'clock in the morning. As a student I could barely bring myself to practice it.

I may be wrong , but isn't it actually a composite work with only a movement actually by Nardini? or something like that......

Whatever, he is probably busting a gut as we are busting or chops on this thing...


July 8, 2015 at 12:31 PM · But what do you /really/ think, Stephen? :-)

Well, it's good to know I'm not alone in failing to instill a deep appreciation of this work among students. But if the Nardini is really as bad as all that, why did masters like Szeryng, Olof, Elman, Flesch, etc., have it in their repertoires?

July 8, 2015 at 01:52 PM · I have played it a few years ago and really dislike it.

July 8, 2015 at 04:24 PM · From IMSLP: "This piece was created long after Nardini was gone from movements of a "lost" violin sonata. The first and best-known version was assembled by Emilio Pente (1860-1929) and orchestrated. The only surviving of the lost sonata is an arrangement for Viola and Piano in F minor."

July 8, 2015 at 07:05 PM · Greetings,

its a good question John. I have also never understood why players such as Kreisler, Shumsky, Grumiaux, Perlman et al rated Viotti 22. What the heck, I like the Conus concerto....



July 9, 2015 at 02:26 AM · I teach it sometimes, and, well, I like it. I did have one student that didn't really like it, but that one wasn't much for practicing anyway. Everyone else liked it.

I use the Gingold International Edition, with all of those fabulous shifts and slides and whatnot. The slow movement is really pretty, and sounds somewhat sad and wistful, even though it is in C major. The third movement is a great one for getting 2nd position solid, for sure!

Overall, it is an excellent piece for The Truly Careful Student, the type that needs a little extroverted flash. Or cheese.

I didn't realize it was so unpopular though. I feel a bit sad and wistful now...

July 9, 2015 at 02:35 AM · Leopold Auer gives this a mention in "Violin Master Works and Their Interpretation", calling it "one of the loveliest of all eighteenth century violin concertos".

Except it is not a "real" concerto, and this is from the (much revered, respected, and admired) man that wasn't too enthralled with the Bach concertos!

July 9, 2015 at 03:00 AM · I am not sure we have established it as unpopular yet. It could be a factor of national diet, time zones and the like.



July 9, 2015 at 01:24 PM · I see that Anne and I are both from Alabama (I grew up and had most of my musical training there), so maybe it's a Southern thing. And Stephen, don't be ashamed to say you like the Conus -- Heifetz was quite fond of it, so you're in good company.

July 9, 2015 at 09:26 PM · Aha! I have always suspected Nardini was from Alabama.....

July 10, 2015 at 01:56 AM · I'm not from AL, (I'm Yankee!) but I do live here.

There is a significant Italian-American population around here, but, um, I don't think Nardini was one of them...

July 10, 2015 at 03:42 AM · are you sure?

in some of the etchings I've seen off him he is clearly clutching a banjo.....

July 10, 2015 at 03:42 AM · are you sure?

in some of the etchings I've seen off him he is clearly clutching a banjo.....

July 10, 2015 at 11:49 AM · ...or dueling banjos.

July 10, 2015 at 07:17 PM · does the style require a certain `grits` in the sound..

July 10, 2015 at 09:30 PM · Hmm. Not sure. Let me check Rameau's "Treatise on Hominy".

July 10, 2015 at 10:27 PM · I suspect part of the problem has been the interpretive failure of confusing a la breve with a la bama.

July 11, 2015 at 02:09 AM · I wasn't familiar with this concerto, so I looked it up after reading this thread. With the way y'all were carrying on, I was expecting something heinous, but it seems like a decent enough little piece to me. Maybe it's just a case of too much hype (in the other direction!)

July 12, 2015 at 04:31 PM · hi Sarah, exactly same reaction here, I also didn't know it, looked through it, to me it seems like a nice piece! sorry to the haters!

July 12, 2015 at 05:55 PM · I also didn't know it & had to look it up on YouTube.

For an eighteenth-century piece it does sound 'ahead of its time'. In fact, to me, a woman of a certain age, it sounds like film music from the sort of black & white Hollywood film they used to show on television in my youth - a bit portentous & 'mushy'.

I don't dislike it, but it's a bit opulent for me. Maybe if young students don't like it, could it be because ironically it sounds 'dated' to them? Unless it's the difficulty of playing it, on which I can't comment.

I'm feeling very disappointed that there are no banjos!

July 14, 2015 at 02:42 PM · Pinchas Zuckerman recorded it, and in his hands it begins quite well. I think it gets pretty dull later on, particularly after the first movement.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music: Check out our selection of Celtic music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Thomastik-Infeld's Dynamo Strings
Thomastik-Infeld's Dynamo Strings

National Symphony Orchestra
National Symphony Orchestra

Violins of Hope
Violins of Hope Summer Music Programs Directory
Find a Summer Music Program Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

ARIA International Summer Academy

Borromeo Music Festival

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine