Tips For Kabalevsky Concerto

January 16, 2004 at 08:10 AM · Does anybody have any tips on this concerto? I'm polishing the first movement and was wondering if it is worth it or not to do the other two.

Replies (23)

January 16, 2004 at 12:26 PM · Dear God no! It's not even worth playing one movement, It's a terrible so called "concerto"! (Doesn't deserve that title) Yuck! Find something better, anything is better then the Kabelevsky concerto.... even mary had a little lamb lol. Hope that helped....

January 16, 2004 at 01:08 PM · Oh Come on. Kabalevsky is a good introduction to playing a concerto. For players who don't have tons of experience, it uses basic techniques to convey, I admit, simple, but good theme. You can't compare it to any big concertos, but for younger players or people who are new to the concerto rep, I think it is a pleasing way to "learn the ropes."


January 16, 2004 at 02:06 PM · Na, not really. I believe Mozart's violin concertos (especially no 3) do what u say. Kabalevsky is so fake, not grandioso and the main theme is stupid. ugh!

January 16, 2004 at 08:38 PM · You are saying Mozart is a good piece for people who are just beginning concerto rep? Mozart requires such nunace and bow articulation and experience. I can see not liking kabalevsky, but I think mozart is so...mature.


January 16, 2004 at 08:46 PM · I love this concerto... if you dont like it dont play it, simple enough right?

January 17, 2004 at 12:01 AM · and play it with as much energy as possible

January 17, 2004 at 02:30 AM · I think Mozart's concertos no 4 & 5 are a bit too advanced, but no 3 is much simpler... (not counting the cadenzas)

January 17, 2004 at 10:07 AM · Mozart no4 is by far the most difficult to play well. No 5 may seem more technical but it's easier in my opinion.

Why anyone doesn't mention no1?

January 17, 2004 at 08:08 PM · i agree 4 is hardest.

January 17, 2004 at 09:51 PM · Argh. I can't agree that Mozart is easy. Ok, the NOTES are easy, but the bow style, articulation, and nuance is not at all. It's easy to "play" but to really understand and play with correct interpretation takes skill, expereince, and knowledge about theory, all styles of bowing, etc. "Hard" can't always just boil down to notes. style is just has "hard" if not harder. Anyone can play the notes, it's playing them the way the composer intended is the hard part.


January 17, 2004 at 11:51 PM · Well, I've performed this concerto, and i think its a joy! The second movement is particularly wonderful, very tchaikovskian. Third movement has the same kind of care-free abandon apparent in the first but perhaps slightly more challenging for those newe to the concerto repetoire Better leave mozart till later though...

January 18, 2004 at 12:11 AM · I asked for tips on Kabalevsky......not what mozart concerto I should play. I aleready played #3.

January 19, 2004 at 05:28 AM · Greetings,

Ryan, are you seriously asking violinists to stay on topic? ;)

Seriously, I don`t think there is that much specific advice aboutt he Kabalevsky that could be made without knowing your playing, its strengths and weaknesses (if any9 etc.

However, the same generalized advice about learning any concerto might well apply.

Just for me, some of these are:

1) Know the score inside out. Just plaing the solo part of a concerto is definable as only knowing a tiny potion of the work in qurestion. This knowledge will aslo affetc your interpretation. It is the differenc ebetween an artist and a dilletante.

2) Work on segmets from all three movemnets simltaneously and try to see concetions betwene them.

3) Practice from memory.

4) Practice without vibrato and under speed until everything is in tune.

5) Listen to other works by the same composer to try to find the style.

6) If you must listen to a recording of the concerto itslef then listen to a smany as possible rather than just one , and never with the intention of copying.

7) Learn something of the composer and his milieu.



January 20, 2004 at 07:18 AM · Kabalevsky is absolute garbage play Mozart.

January 20, 2004 at 07:34 AM · I totally agree, play Mozart instead of that discusting concerto, the second movement of the Kabelevsky is the only movement worth glancing at...

January 20, 2004 at 07:39 AM · glance at it but don't play it!

January 21, 2004 at 03:15 PM · Ill say it again I love this concerto, the rythms make it unique and not so easy to play. Maybe thats why people hate it?

Try humming it before you play it, if you cant hum it correctly how are you gonna play it correctly?

January 22, 2004 at 07:04 PM · good idea scott 68! ok why do you guys hate it so much? Do tell.

January 22, 2004 at 07:11 PM · I got the idea from glenn gould actually

January 22, 2004 at 11:32 PM · I hate it coz it's so fake, with all the scales, it isn't grandioso enough to be called a concerto, the melody is annoying and boring. The "concerto" is one big boring scale. I say boring.... the beethoven is a scale (1st + 2nd movements) but its not so boring, and its definetely grandioso.

January 22, 2004 at 11:52 PM · Stephen-great tips! Thanks!

January 23, 2004 at 10:17 PM · I totally agree with you Chloe. Mozart is not easy.

It's a common, but understandable fallacy to think it is, because most of Mozart's music seems to be so simple and light. In fact you don't have to be a very good violinist to "play" Mozart, but to play it like it should be played you have to master the violin. Mozart is music that is always moving. It comes from somewhere and goes to somewhere. Each note has to be played different. Not really newbie-material I'd say!!!

I don't understand why most people on this board hate kabalevsky so much. This summer I followed a masterclass and one day we were talking about that concerto and all of the participants had played it already, and I remember that everyone recalled it as being a lot of fun, really nice to play. I don't see what's so wrong about that. Someone who studies the piano won't start with Rachmaninov 3 either...

January 24, 2004 at 06:53 PM · Amen!

Even now (ha, at the ripe old age of 17) I feel inept when playing Mozart string quartets , etc. I played the concertos when I was pretty young, and I regret it. I went back and relearned #3 2 years ago, and while the nuance was better, I still didn't have the maturity I felt like I needed, so it just goes to show, it takes a long time to achieve that kind of articulation, etc.

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