Programme Suggestions

April 7, 2004 at 04:42 AM · I just received word that I'm definitely going to China in May for a recording project tentatively called "Favorite Warhorses". The key question is what to record. Here's a list of the possible repertoire I submitted to the company, based on what I'd like to have in my discography, and on what I need to prepare for an upcoming contest. I'm wondering what people's opinions are regarding which of these works would be most interesting to record, and whether there are some other warhorses I may have overlooked...

By the way, whatever I end up choosing for the recording will probably also find its way onto the programme for my recitals in Florida in early May, right before I leave for Beijing.

(* = needed for an upcoming competition programme)

(! = works I’d like to record, which would work well on a “Favorite Warhorses” CD either because I’ve played them often in concerts and competitions, or because they are audience favorites.)

! Bach

Adagio and Fugue in G minor

Ciaccona in D minor


Hungarian Dances (Nos. 1, 2, 5, 7, 16)

* Chausson



“Salut d'Amour”

“La Capricieuse”


Fantasy on themes from Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess"

Joplin – Perlman

“Easy Winners”

“Ragtime Dance”

“The Entertainer”




Rezitativ und Scherzo Caprice (for violin solo)

Rondino on a theme by Beethoven

Spanish Dance (after De Falla's “La Vida Breve”)


! “Viennese Rhapsodic Fantasietta”




! Meditation from “Thais”

* Paganini

! Caprices (Nos. 4, 5, 9, 24)

* “The Witches’ Dance” (“Le Streghe”)

“Moses” Fantasy on the G string


“L’Histoire du Tango”


March from “Love for Three Oranges” (arr. J. Heifetz)


“Meditation” in D minor



! * “Tzigane”


“A Word to Paganini”



! * Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso


* “Etude en forme de valse”


Caprice Basque


Romanza Andalusa


! Zigeunerweisen


! Ave Maria (arr. Heifetz)

J. Suk

“Song of Love”



“Melody” in E flat major (from Souvenir d’un lieu cher)

! “Serenade Melancolique”

! “Valse-Scherzo”


“Souvenir d’Amerique”


“Polonaise Brilliante” in D major



Poème Elégiaque, op. 12

* Sonata No. 2 “Obsession” for violin solo


Mazurka in G major

Replies (50)

April 7, 2004 at 05:18 PM · what about Wieniawski's Scherzo and Tarantella? Audiences I play for simply love it, and you get to go really fast, something audiences always like, (They like to see us struggle) All the pieces that you wish to record, are audience pleasers and they would do well for the recording.

April 7, 2004 at 08:19 PM · How about Bloch Nigun, and do you know the de Falla Suite of Popular Spanish Songs? These are some of my favourites. Do you play any of the Carmen fantasies?

I think you should DEFINITELY record Tzigane. That belongs on any CD of the best violin music!

Also, may I tentatively submit that I think 'Favourite Warhorses" is a really silly name for an album? It isn't in the least bit commercial at all. Nobody outside our little violin-vacuum knows what a warhorse is supposed to be, do they?! Correct me please, if you've found differently! and I mean no offense.

April 7, 2004 at 10:04 PM · Cora, how could I EVER take offense at you? ;-)

As for the Bloch, I did suggest recording the full Baal Shem - or just the Nigun - but the producers aren't terribly keen on the idea, at least not for the first album. Too serious, they say. As for the De Falla, though, I love that idea. My only reservation is that I was "saving myself" with that until I get a chance to release a violin-guitar album. I always love playing the suite, but do have a small preference for doing it with guitar...Still, I'm intrigued by what the producers will say, so I'll add it to my offer.

As for Carmen, I do have the Sarasate in my repertoire, and the Barcham-Stevens (though that's for 3 violins) but I've not played the Sarasate in about two years. And as this thing is bearing down on me like a freight train, and as I've still got the Chausson to revive (not to mention the Ysaye) in the next two weeks REGARDLESS of the recording project, I'm just a bit nervous about biting off more than I can chew. (Actually, there's two recitals and a Tchaikovsky concerto in Florida right before I leave for China, so I'd probably best be conservative in my self-assurance levels...)

Tzigane is definitely on. Er. I think. No! Definitely!

As for the "Warhorses" title, since the disc is coming out in China I will place myself entirely in the hands of the local PR folks since they know the local cultural context far better than I ever could. But for what it's worth, I've found the "warhorses" term in common use among non-musicians to describe pretty much what violinists use it to describe. Still, maybe a less metaphorical and more direct "Here's the stuff you love" sort of title would be wiser. Hmmm. Gotta think about that one.

Of course, I DID call one of my CDs "So, What Have You Done Lately?", so perhaps I'm really not the best person to decide this sort of thing.

April 7, 2004 at 10:34 PM · : ) I think "So, What Have You Done Lately?" is a great title. I guess we just don't use the word "warhorses" so much in the British Isles!

Are you going to record the Chausson? I just love that one...

April 8, 2004 at 12:01 AM · Greetings,

my own preference as an alternative to `war-horse,` is `pacifist-rabbits,` but there you go...

I had a litlte trouble reading your list because the computer transcribed it all into kanji.

However, I think Tzigane and Chausson would be great on the same disc. The Bach Chacconne but not the two g minor movements for my taste. I just like the whole thing in its entirety although I know that what hardly caus eyou to raise a sweat.

I think you are not offering the glazunov Meditation but Ithat is a beautiful alternative to to many by Thais. It would also be great top see somebodu recording the shorter works of Vieuxtemps. the only version of Ballad and Polonaise I can get is a truncated version by Huberman . Then there is the Tarantelle which would also be good to hea r instead of the Wieniawski on again...

The Suk four pices are a personal favorite and its good to hear all four rather than just the Burlesque as a Moto Perpetuo.

All the best,


April 8, 2004 at 03:59 AM · Yes Cora, I'm gald you mentioned the war-horses thing... I've never heard the expression before, and was going to suggest something with the word Trojan in the title...

April 8, 2004 at 04:31 AM · Greetings,

Sue, as the saying goes, `Don`t be a prophylactic in your own country,`



April 8, 2004 at 06:26 PM · When are you coming to Florida? What cities are you playing in? I'm very eager to come to one of your recitals!

April 8, 2004 at 10:37 PM · Hey Emil Good Luck!. I'd like to see you record all the pieces you mentioned!. Here is a couple pieces I think go unnoticed.. Gliere Romance, I only know of Oistrakh's recording of this piece out of the older players, Bach: Arioso, And Kreisler's Gypsy Caprice! Again good luck. If you ever come to the the Academy of Music here in Philadelphia let me know.

April 9, 2004 at 05:43 AM · Hey, thats a great list of music to choose from but from my own experiences and reviews not all of those things classify as War Horses. The term Warhorse usually refered to pieces which contained an even combination of drama and virtuosity. The Bach is in a class of its own, so it really doesnt fit. Then there are the pieces which wouldnt be classified as war horses, in using a direct quote from the Richmond Times, are " 18th, 19th century Bon-Bons". That still leaves alot of music on the list. But the easiest thing to do would be to just think of a better name for the whole project. Then you wouldnt have to worry about mixing horses and poodles.

April 9, 2004 at 08:38 AM · Eat lots of veggies before you go to China; they were very hard to find when I was there a few years ago.Too bad it's Beijing and not Shanghai; the 1st is rather grim & grey, the 2nd much more fun (as are the locals, on the whole).

Oh, and the hotel massages may be more than you've bargained for( nudge nudge wink wink - shudder).

April 9, 2004 at 05:19 PM · How many minutes do you have?

Lots of great repertoire already, I don't know if you really need help, Emil. ;) Other things I personally love are Heifetz's transcription of Masks, Paganini's 1st caprice, Bartok Romanian Folk Dances, Dvorak/Beethoven Romances? People do seem to like Wieniawski's Scherzo-Tarantelle, but it sounds etudish to me...I much prefer the Polonaise Brillante.

Good luck with your project!!


April 9, 2004 at 05:42 PM · Thanks for the suggestions, everyone, and do keep them flowing. I'm still narrowing the list down, but I do think the board consensus about the title is valid, so we'll just have to use the final list of repertoire as the point of departure for the eventual theme of the recording. So far, the things definitely going on the recording are Zigeunerweisen, Tzigane and the Poeme, for what that's worth.

As for Florida, Ryan - and anyone else who's interested - I'll be there from the 3rd through the 13th of May (possibly a day or two earlier, and possibly staying an extra day). The recitals and concert I know about for certain so far are on the 8th (Tchaikovsky concerto at the B.I.G. Arts Center on Sanibel Island), the 10th (in Fort Myers), and 12th (Boca Raton).

April 9, 2004 at 07:22 PM · Dear Emil,

How do you actually visualise the CD? Warhorses implies to me a collection of the fast technically challenging stuff. This might get a bit montonous - I would recommend a mixture of the fast&furious and the dreamy e.g.

-F&F - Chausson Poème; Ravel “Tzigane”; Wieniawski

“Polonaise Brilliante" (or how abut "Souvenir de Moscow" - I presume this is no longer politica non grata over there.)

Dreamy: Thais; Rachmaninov "Vocalise"; Elgar “Salut d'Amour”

I suspect we already have a full CD - but I would add the Bach G mnor Adagio&Fuge -

(did I ever tell you the one where I was auditioning for the University of London Orchestra and after 2 mins of playing the Adagio the conductor stopped me and asked me whether I could play something that had somewhat fewer notes in it?)

because you have to have some Bach and everyone does the Chaconne, and for F&F how abut Ysaye #3, which I adore, and is shorter than #2? Then Liebesfreud &lied sort of sit in the middle and balance everything. If only I could play any of these (well, sort of Thais & the Elgar) I would make the CD tomorrow!

All the best with the project. When are you going to come to he UK and play some concerts in London?



April 10, 2004 at 06:02 AM · Caprice Basque would be nice to have on there, but I don't really consider that a "warhorse." Anyways, I'll try to attend your concerts in Florida.

April 10, 2004 at 07:35 AM · Oh another Wieniawski piece... Fantasy on themes of Faust!!! It has it all, technique and Beauty!

April 10, 2004 at 08:25 AM · Emil, Record whatever you feel most comfortable with. Ofcourse we would like to hear certain pieces, but go over that list and ask yourself "what is really me?" Most of these pieces have been recorded over and over again, and you don't want to be another version. No you want to be YOUR version "this is what I got to say over it, this is what this composer does with my heart and I would like to share that with you..."

have fun and good luck, let me know how things go...

April 10, 2004 at 03:32 PM · Why not a "Requests from" - CD?

I would love a Jewish influed cd, Baal Shem, Kol Nidrei Doina et al. Do you play any pieces like this?

April 10, 2004 at 05:05 PM · Well, the whole Baal Shem suite is pretty constant in my repertoire. But, speaking of repertoire, I also need to be realistic in terms of just how many works I can learn in a month. The Wieniawski Faust, for instance, is one thing I'd love to record, but having never played it before I'm going to have to try and be reasonable.

Caprice Basque, on the other hand....hmm. Perhaps along with Romanza Andalusa...Hmmmmmmm.

April 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM · Yes, I think "Requests from" is quite a sexy title!


Your Intro and Rondo C. is awesome; don't let them leave that out.

April 10, 2004 at 07:27 PM · Hi, Emil!

What competition is it that you have in a couple weeks? (I think that's what you said). And as far as your CD goes, all I can say is I hope I get a copy. :) Will there be an orchestra to play with in China, I assume?

April 10, 2004 at 08:40 PM · I think the "requests" CD will just have to wait until the fall, Laurie ;-)

Rosalie, I'm thinking of doing the Monte Carlo Masters. The age limit is just right, the prize money is quite nice (albeit it's a winner-take-all deal), and the programme is quite challenging. The only problem is'M A LAZY SLOB!

April 10, 2004 at 09:45 PM · where have I heard this before...and then you waltzed off with 6th place anyway. :)

Any thoughts on the Lipizer yet? I see they've announced the new etude.

So good luck on this Monte Carlo one. Sounds fun. If winner takes all, then I guess you'd better win, right? :) Maybe YOU should try practicing to an egg timer to combat laziness. :) Ha ha.

April 10, 2004 at 09:57 PM · Rosalie, I'm definitely sending in my application for the Lipizer as well. Shall we discuss theology again?? As for the Monte Carlo, IF I get accepted and IF I do well, then I might rethink Gorizia. Though, on consideration, probably not, since this year would be my last shot at it. BTW, the chinese recording is only with piano, not orchestra. At least this one is. Hopefully there'll be others...

April 10, 2004 at 10:36 PM · Yes, hopefully there will be others.

I'm afraid if we discuss theology it will have to be through e-mail or something, because I won't be in Gorizia this year. I'll wish all of you good luck all the same. By somewhere in the middle of the second round I hope to be in the hospital giving birth to a healthy baby boy or girl. :) So you can all wish me luck, too. :)

Let me know how things go for you with Monte Carlo, etc. It's always fun to hear what you're up to.

May 16, 2004 at 06:02 AM · Emil called from the LA airport on his way to China to give this dispatch. Here is what he decided on playing for the recording:


Meditation from “Thais”


“The Witches’ Dance” (“Le Streghe”)

Caprice #24 (and, possibly, #4 and #9. Maybe.)


“Viennese Rhapsodic Fantasietta”




Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso




Ave Maria (arr. Heifetz)


“Serenade Melancolique”




Emil says, "Now the only remaining question is what to CALL this mish-mash smorgasbord

of tuneful ditties..."


May 16, 2004 at 06:13 AM · How about.......Emil's crap?

May 16, 2004 at 08:34 AM · I would like to buy Emil's Crap when it becomes available. Sounds like some good... stuff.

May 16, 2004 at 03:35 PM · Now, now, FN, is that a way to talk about your teacher? ;)

May 16, 2004 at 04:32 PM · That is a great program! Lots of variety and styles. Also sounds like a good album to give someone who is relatively new to the world of classical music.

I really have no idea what to call it. My only critique would be I'm sad the Ysaye Poeme Elegiaque didn't make the cut. Happy recording!!

May 17, 2004 at 04:44 AM · Greetiungs,

Laurie, I was wondering where FN had got to, and lo, she automatically appears on the screen with the usual inimitable fiddle faddle.

People don`t seem to be too helpful here so far so here are my thoughts:


I am Legende

Chud does China

Songs my mother would have taught me...

Warhorses of the World.

East meets West.

On the wings of a wong.

I know what I like.

Violin Favorites.

A poutpourri of Pyrotechniques.

Music plus One.

Va Bene.

Get me out of here.

The Sound of the violin.

Emil plays.

Check out Chudders.

Prizewinning Performances.

The Romantic VIolin in Asia.

Knucklebreakers for you.

Made in Asia.

Made in China.

This is where I live.


Ever helpful Buri

May 17, 2004 at 06:13 AM · I certainly hope Emil is checking in. Buri, you are a genius.

May 17, 2004 at 01:18 PM · LOLLL Buri! That's some funny stuff there!!

May 17, 2004 at 03:58 PM · I love the "Songs my mother would have taught me...."

May 17, 2004 at 08:02 PM · i might add pag 24 is always a pleaser, and how about the kresiler fantiesietta thinger since its not played much and you seem to really enjoy it, besides its a wonderful piece.

May 17, 2004 at 09:57 PM · More like, "Songs I wish my mother hadn't taught me"

May 18, 2004 at 03:44 AM · "Check out Chudders"...oh yes. Absolutely inspired.!!! :)

May 18, 2004 at 11:23 AM · Hello from the studio, everyone. China is lovely, though humid. The food is exotic, the hotel is charming, and the pianist is an absolute joy to work with. No, the fact that he's sitting here as the recording engineers do their stuff and reading over my shoulder has NOTHING to do anything.

Anyway, Thais is now recorded, and as soon as I sign off Zigeunerweisen is next on the list of victims. Caprice Basque looks like a likely addition. Instead of Rachmaninoff, I'm hoping to record Lasser's Vocalise. Otherwise the list Laurie posted is about right.

As for titles, Danny (Daniel Grimwood, pianist extraordinaire) LOVES Chudders does China. But I think he's thinking of the last blue flick he saw. Me, I'm still thinking of snappy titles that point out that 1) this is a CD of encores and showpieces which is 2) recorded in China and 3) stuff one is likely to hear in my recitals 'n stuff. So, Buri-sensei, I'm afraid that leaves only something like East Meets West When Audiences Keep Asking For More. Which, I'm sure you'll agree, is a touch on the wordy side. EMWWAKAFM is a bit incomprehensible.

Unless one's Welsh, Danny adds.

May 18, 2004 at 03:08 PM · What about;

Chudnovsky in China: - Chowy Chowstoppers


Chubby Chudnovsky Chooses Choppers by Chinese Choice.


May 18, 2004 at 11:29 PM · lol

May 19, 2004 at 01:14 AM · Greetings,

you are behind the bamboo curtain with a Welshman?!

Tip: if he starts muttering about British Holiday Cottages and waving a lighted match around don`t ask, just run.

In the meantime:

The China Syndrome.

China Romance.

Simply Emil.

Peking duck.



May 19, 2004 at 01:29 AM · Buri, you are funny! :D

May 19, 2004 at 06:24 AM · From China with love?


May 19, 2004 at 06:31 AM · Greetings,

Carl, that`s a good one,



May 19, 2004 at 02:56 PM · How about "The Yellow Violin"? "Encores Chinois"?

"A Chinese Cadenza"?

Or maybe "The Curse of Fu Chudnovsku"? Or maybe not....

Sounds like you're having fun Emil - good luck with the recording! Say hello to Danny for me - he doesn't know me but we have some mutual friends - Jack Liebeck and Jamie Walton.


May 19, 2004 at 10:21 PM · Excuse_weird_typing_-_having_problems_with_my_keyboard!




May 20, 2004 at 06:22 AM · How about,

Souvenir d’un lieu cher qui s'appelle Chinois?}


May 20, 2004 at 06:38 AM · Greetings,

Carl, you are going to make a fine psychologist one day. (or for only one day, I am not sure which)



May 20, 2004 at 09:12 AM · Actually, I've decided I want to study music after all. Thanks anyway... maybe I should be a chef (the world's first exculsively prune serving restaurant?)


May 20, 2004 at 11:20 AM · Greetings,

Carl, it would need too many toilets,



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