Romantic Sonatas.

August 13, 2016 at 04:12 AM · Hello! I am looking for romantic violin sonatas to learn. I am working on Mozarts 3rd concerto and Handels E major sonata. I was looking at the Schumann sonatas, and they don't seem too bad at first glance. Can anybody recommend any sonatas? Please don't include sonatinas. I'd rather it be a sonata.

Replies (32)

August 13, 2016 at 07:35 AM · The Edvard Grieg Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 13 is quite accessible.

August 13, 2016 at 11:17 AM · The first that comes to mind is the Franck sonata. But it's not easy - and it's even more difficult for the pianist.

August 13, 2016 at 02:57 PM · Both of those seem too difficult.

August 13, 2016 at 03:03 PM · I wouldn't reject the Dvorak Sonatina out of hand. It's the right difficulty level for you and it's a beautiful work worth having in your repertoire.

August 13, 2016 at 03:08 PM · I know. I ordered it a few days ago. It is a nice piece.

August 13, 2016 at 04:50 PM · I think of the Spring Sonata (Beethoven No. 5) as a classical era piece. If you want to do classical era, start with Mozart K304 (E Minor). I also think Beethoven Op. 50 Romance is absolutely prerequisite to the Spring Sonata (same key). For all classical sonatas, you will want a good spiccato. (Time to become reacquainted with Kreutzer No. 2.)

If you have only done one Handel Sonata, do more. They're very good. There are Bach accompanied sonatas also, the (transposed) Gamba sonatas are reasonable pieces. Of course that is baroque literature.

About the Franck Sonata, the first and third movements are not that hard. I've played them, and I'm at about the same level as you (working on Mozart 5 now). The fourth movement is quite hard and the second movement might as well have been written by the Devil. And Raphael is correct -- finding a pianist that can join you on that adventure will be a real trick. That's going to be an issue for all of the romantic sonata literature.

There is a Hindemith sonata for solo violin that you may wish to explore. Not sure you'd call it romantic though.

August 13, 2016 at 06:36 PM · I think the Spring Sonata of Beethoven is a good bridge between the classical and romantic literature. The big later sonatas (Brahms, Franck) require a mature sound, great bow control, etc. so would be a big leap for you at this point. The Beethoven Romances are great but there is no piece that is an absolute prerequisite for any other. It all depends on what you are ready for.

August 13, 2016 at 10:55 PM · How about the Dvorak Four Romantic Pieces?

I'll confess I have never actually learned a Romantic sonata myself, but the Romantic Pieces are a) lovely and b) intermediate in difficulty between the Sonatina or things like Handel, and the main romantic sonatas. They were written for amateurs, though evidently pretty good amateurs as there are plenty of technical and musical challenges ;)

August 14, 2016 at 12:28 AM · Spring Sonata is a very accessible and great starting sonata to have under your belt. As for spiccato requirements, there's very little except third movement and some sprinkled here and there but nothing too intense, and are a fine compliment to the Mozart. Dvorak is nice as well.

As usual, check with your teacher for suggestions since they're the ones teaching you the pieces and not any of us.

August 14, 2016 at 12:51 AM · Your pianist partner is integral to most sonatas; they are an equal partner, and possibly even the star attraction. They are not merely accompanying. Who are you going to be playing these sonatas with? The Franck, for instance, has an exceptionally challenging piano part.

August 14, 2016 at 01:53 AM · I'm not going to be performing anytime soon. I just want to learn one so I could perform one sometime.

August 14, 2016 at 02:14 AM · The Mendelssohn is pretty nice. I'm not a fan of the Schubert. I might try the Mendelssohn.

August 14, 2016 at 02:40 AM · For the most part, it's not going to be much fun to do these unless you have a pianist you can learn them with. The Dvorak Sonatina is an exception, I think; it's much more of a violin piece than a violin-piano collaboration.

August 14, 2016 at 10:35 AM · Frank Bridge's "Four Short Pieces for Violin and Piano" are an excellent choice as well, not too technically challenging but really beautiful stuff:,_H.104_(Bridge,_Frank)

August 14, 2016 at 02:01 PM · One might also consider Beethoven's lyrical 10th sonata, op. 96, in this discussion. It certainly is on the way to the Romantic era.

August 14, 2016 at 04:23 PM · To echo Gene Wie, Spring Song from Bridge's Four Short Pieces, is a beautiful tune that can be played from first position. You an find a lot of youtube videos of it by excellent players to get ideas on how to play it expressively.

August 15, 2016 at 07:56 PM · I'm not sure that the Schubert sonatinas are quite in the romantic vein (seem kind of more of a bridge between classical and romantic), but they are very beautiful, and really tricky and exposed.

You could also try the Dvorak 4 Romantic Pieces, even though it's not a sonata.

Welp, looks like others have already suggested these.

August 15, 2016 at 10:07 PM · I'll try the Dvorak as well.

August 17, 2016 at 07:32 AM · If Schubert is romantic enough for you, there's also the Duo in A - a sonata in all but name. More substantial than the sonatinas and very gratifying to play. Not too demanding technically, if I remember rightly.

August 17, 2016 at 05:56 PM · Mr. Deck, the Hindemith would be too big of a step (both solo ones I think you refer to), including even the shorter work. Certainly not Romantic either, but you knew that.

Schumann Op. 105 is doable, but the Dvorak Sonatina does indeed make more sense as a next step. It's a great work, worthy of the Concert Hall, despite its seemingly "humble" origins.

There's no "easy" violin piece in the truest musical sense-there's a huge difference between an intermediate player interpreting the Dvorak Sonatina, the 4 Romantic Pieces, etc. and a very high level violinist doing the same. Mr. Rosand recorded the Handel Sonatas (so did Milstein and many greats). This attitude of a few, usually younger, players being "beneath the "easy" repertoire" is more damaging than any positive results (sadly, mere ego-stroking) wanted by skipping good works worth learning.

The above is not meant for the OP (certainly wish him well)-it's just something I've observed throughout my years. Humans can be too detrimentally competitive at times.

The Schubert Sonatinas are great works too-still remember a Sayaka Shoji recital where she played one of them with unsurpassed style and beauty, some years ago, at Carnegie Hall (Weill.)

August 17, 2016 at 06:33 PM · Thanks. I'm not working on the Dvorak sonatina with my teacher, I'm sort of teaching it to myself. It really isn't too difficult.

August 19, 2016 at 07:59 PM · Lydia, the first movement of the Dvorak Sonatina Op. 100 is in Book 2 of Barbara Barber's "Solos for Young Violinists" which suggests to me that it is nowhere near Mozart 3 level.

Are we talking about the same piece?

August 19, 2016 at 09:10 PM · Only one sonatina by Dvorak. I doubt she meant the sonata.

August 20, 2016 at 12:54 AM · I think the second Schubert Sonatina, particularly the first movement, is very intense. Even more so is the slow movement of Beethoven Sonata Op 12 No 2. I don't think that most of what you find in the Romantic sonatas matches them in intensity (Of course, there's nothing like the Brahms D minor or the Franck 2nd movement!).

The 3rd movement of the Purcell G minor Sonata is also extremely intense.

August 20, 2016 at 02:58 AM · The Dvorak Sonatina isn't as difficult as Mozart 3, but it's on par with the Handel sonatas.

August 20, 2016 at 11:00 AM · As a teenager I used to play through various various things with our local family friend pianist, including a Sonata Op 9 by Oskar Nedbal (A pupil and associate of Dvorak's).

August 20, 2016 at 03:05 PM · Okay I ordered the sonatina, we'll give it a go. :)

August 20, 2016 at 11:12 PM · That you tube with Gil Shaham and his sister Orli on piano playing the Dvorak Sonatina is a great example of piano and violin. It's a great interwoven and equitable piece.

August 21, 2016 at 01:45 AM · If one would play only music deemed "technically difficult", the repertoire would be greatly diminished. Experienced musicians know that there's much more to music than an expected student curriculum, so they play whatever they want musically, from "easy Handel"/"Sonatinas"/etc. to Paganini Caprices.

There are difficulty differences, of course, but the value of the 4 Romantic Pieces isn't diminished just because the same player could have chosen to play the Strauss Sonata instead. Every work is worth playing on its own musical merits.

August 21, 2016 at 03:01 AM · I look at pieces this way: (Enter name of composer) composed this piece for a reason. He/she wanted it to be performed as well as possible. Composers would probably be upset if people thought certain pieces were for students and too good for more professional musicians.

August 21, 2016 at 03:17 AM · Though some works were indeed composed for students. The Dvorak Sonatina was written for his young son, for instance.

August 21, 2016 at 04:11 AM · Yes, but Dvorak also said that he wanted adults,not just students to play it.

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