Vieuxtemps 5

April 21, 2004 at 06:49 AM · I'm playing this concerto. Any suggestions?

Replies (62)

April 21, 2004 at 07:01 AM · It's tough! =)

April 21, 2004 at 04:32 PM · Listen to Kogan's recording, there isn't one better then his.

April 21, 2004 at 04:47 PM · I don't think this concerto is so bad if you've been doing the right work with technique. Not to say it has no soul, but when you break it down, the difficult stuff is all approachable...scales, knowing where things are and how to get to them cleanly. It does take stamina, I think that's the hardest thing about it...


April 21, 2004 at 04:55 PM · I used the first movement in my college auditions. It took me a long while to figure out the technicalities in the piece- probably around 19 mths or so...but it was well worth it because I was able to get into the schools of my choice.

What edition of V #5 do you have? I recommend the Galamian.

The best teacher is yourself. I often disliked hearing myself play (listening to a recording) teacher would always urge me to do this. After all, you are your worst critic (as well as fan) ;)

2nd alternative is to get someone else to point out the weakness of the performance. One must be open to it though. I've found that a gentle but firm urge helped but sometimes a good swift kick in the arse will get things rolling along. It really helped me learn the difficult passage of martele tip section (before the cadenza). I really nailed that passage in a performance my senior year.

Another tough part of the piece- upbow staccato. I never did this "beautifully" but at the end of the day, in performance, it was alot better than I thought it would be. It just takes slow practice and patience!

Just take each section piece by piece...learn it slowly...then move up to speed. In performance (of any piece) faking is vital for screwups (if any). I've found that most audiences are prone to know you messed up only by a grimice rather than the performance itself. I'm still working on this (very bad habit of mine that dates back for years and years) but it gets better everyday. Like everything else, it takes practice.

This is "my piece" (I dedicated the most time to this one concerto than any other)-- email me any questions you may have regarding this piece. :)

April 21, 2004 at 10:41 PM · This is like the french Paganini. I feel that although this can show off technique just like the Paganini Concerto No. 1, you must also show off as many colors as possible without destroying the music. Even with all its difficulties, this piece is certainly violinistic. I recommend Heifetz, Zukerman, or Kyung Wha Chung's recording.

April 21, 2004 at 11:32 PM · For me this piece feels harder than the paganini concerto No.1... Don't know why... I'm working on this one as well because i've skipped alot of stuff

April 22, 2004 at 11:47 PM · I would look at Misha Keylin's recording, it's very good (He played all seven). I love his transition from the Adagio to Allegro con fuco. Good luck :)

April 23, 2004 at 01:42 AM · con WHAT??

April 23, 2004 at 02:16 AM · I'm pretty sure he meant to say con fuoco.

April 23, 2004 at 05:05 AM · Yes, but as the ancient poet said...

"Some typos are just too precious to let slip."

April 24, 2004 at 01:02 AM · that is funny. con (beep).

May 3, 2004 at 09:23 PM · Hi Chris,

I actually played this as with piano at 12. This piece has a lot of technical difficulties, so putting the piece down before its too late and then restudying it when your ready, its okay. If you feel your ready just practice it slowly and listen to Sarah Changs recording; its amazing. Nontheless, this is one of the finest violin concertos every written...and Viextemps finest. You shouldnt definetly play it. If you have the slightest feeling your not ready, put it me

May 4, 2004 at 07:23 AM · No 4 is better I think...

May 4, 2004 at 06:15 PM · i like them both, i wont bother trying to decide which is better

May 4, 2004 at 06:15 PM · btw, what are good recordings of these pieces besides heifetz?

May 4, 2004 at 09:06 PM · Perlman, I want to get Sarah Chang's. Heard it was good.

May 4, 2004 at 09:11 PM · Vixen, its a ONE MOVEMENT PIECE, so if you played the first movement, you played the whole thing, so you might as well say you played the whol concerto.

May 4, 2004 at 09:15 PM · I don't agree. What about the 2nd movement? That is different. I can see where youa re coming from from the 3rd. But the second, it is completely different, and very very beautiful. Especially the ending.

May 5, 2004 at 08:51 PM · Buddy, although Viextemps composed his finest concerto in such a way that the audience "thinks" its 3 movements-it is not. It is a one movement piece. Thats how the concerto is organized. How can you not agree with the facts man?? Ask your teacher...See what he say, then post it here.

May 5, 2004 at 08:53 PM · Plus, although the style has changed in what YOU call the "second movement" that does not mean it is another movement. Styles change drastically in romantic concertos that stay in the same movement. Viextemps was romantic...hence he did exactly what I said...

May 5, 2004 at 10:04 PM · I would say it is a two movement piece, as there is a very marked change in mood between the part before the cadenza and after it.

May 5, 2004 at 10:31 PM · You people just dont understand. VIEXTEMPS COMPOSED IT AS A ONE MOVEMENT CONCERTO!!!! How can you possibly say its anything more than 1 movement. He designed it as one movement!! YOU can not change what he did. And just dont go around saying its 2 movements or whatever. People will think your strange since the concerto is highly recognized.

May 5, 2004 at 11:47 PM · Alex, if you can't improve your tone, you can go find another site. You are on borrowed time. It's fine to make your argument, but you can't always have the last word. This board is for people who can contribute their ideas while also tolerating and even learning from varying opinions of other people from all over the world. If you can't, again, I invite you to leave.

May 5, 2004 at 11:43 PM · This concerto consists of the only one movement, where the composer used the principle of monothematic composition. It means that there is the only one theme. If you'll try to listen this concerto several times with score, you'll easily recognize this theme: it starts from the first sound in the orchestra! Look at this symbol-formula: E-F-A-G# I think, it had some meaning for Vieuxtemps when he wrote the concerto. If somebody know, please, shere...

...About technical difficulties I'd recommend to pay a special attention to the page with triplets (martele bowing), because I remember how much pain I had in my upper arm until I got the last note of this episod. I played this episod near bow tip. Some violinists play it spikkato near frog. It's much easier but it makes the big difference in the mood.

May 6, 2004 at 03:28 AM · Alex,

I'm very curious as to which other Romantic concertos you consider to be 1 movement that have such drastic changes within the movement. I really don't consider this piece to be 1 movement because of the drastic tempo change in the second movement and also, on all the recordings I've heard, there are 3 or 4 tracks that divide the concerto. Unless Vieuxtemps himself said that this concerto is 1 movement, it cannot be firmly established that that assertion is true. I consider the cadenza a transition from the 1st to the 2nd movement because of the way it resolves. At the end of the cadenza, there is a certain mood. In order to keep that mood, Vieuxtemps composed it so that it goes right into the 2nd movement. "Its form is distinctive, cast in three movements that are played without pause."- David Foil, the musicologist who wrote for Sarah Chang's CD.

Also, the 2nd movement is completely different because it quotes a melody from an opera by Andre Gretry, and that's why this concerto is also known as the Gretry Concerto. Vieuxtemps probably wanted to dedicate an entire movement to quote that beautiful melody.

May 6, 2004 at 03:55 AM · Also, Rick, there is obvioulsy not only one theme because the quoted melody is only in the second movement. There are at least two themes in the 1st movement alone.

Alex, I'd also like to advise you to make claims with supporting facts to back it up. Otherwise, you're just throwing out opinions, not arguments. You claim that it is a "fact" that the piece is 1 movement, and yet, you have nothing to support the fact except "ask your teacher." Even if you ask a teacher, the teacher's opinion regarding the number of movements is an argument, not a fact, unless he/she has or has seen an authentic document written by Vieuxtemps himself or has heard or read about such a document from a very reliable source.

May 6, 2004 at 04:25 AM · Greetings,

Alex, when you express yourself rudely you make me feel angry, disturbed and less intereste d in what you have to say.

I much prefer being in situations of mutual respect and tolerance so would you be willing to consider this next time you disagree?



May 6, 2004 at 04:22 PM · not likely, judging from the last few posts i read

May 6, 2004 at 07:56 PM · The best suggestion I have for the Vieuxtemps 5 is to listen to Mr. Heitetz!

May 7, 2004 at 09:15 AM · The personal fave of Jasha H. was #4; but then, he had a thing for the #4 on its' own(he was a bit of a numerologist).

May 7, 2004 at 11:52 AM · Heifetz had a thing for no 4 because it is the finest Violin Concerto Vieuxtemps wrote...

May 7, 2004 at 12:08 PM · I personally like no.2 but no.4 and 5 are tied with me.

May 7, 2004 at 12:38 PM · I feel that the music in no.5 is much deeper.

May 7, 2004 at 06:25 PM · hah, heiftetz's third movement of #4 is a little on the quick side, i dont know if my fingers would ever move like that.

May 7, 2004 at 08:05 PM · Okay Laurie, Im sorry for my tone. But you being a teacher I believe? Do you think Vieuxtemps 5th is a one movement concerto. Although the back of cds of this concerto show the piece divided into 3 parts or movements, that does not mean it is the standard 3 movement concerto. Rita is also very correct, although, using monothematic compostition does not always make the concerto 1 movement (ie. Saint-Saens Cello Concerto #1)

And about having proof to back up my arguement...I read an account on the internet of what Viextemps had in his mind. That is his first three concertos for violin would be standard 3 movement, his fourth 4 movements, his 6 and 7th, 3 movements, his 8th, one movement, (it was not finished)and his 5, one movement was divided into 4 parts. A beginning Allegro non troppo, 2 cadenzas (solists choice), the adagio and the Alegro con fuoco. He made them lead into another. But it was still sayed the 5 was designed as one movement, the 8th was just unfinished, like Shuberts symphonie.

May 8, 2004 at 02:39 AM · Listen to many recordings of it. It is quite easy, at least in my opinion. Although it might look tough, frankly, it is easy. It should not take too long to complete.

May 8, 2004 at 03:24 AM · It's taking me forever!!!

May 8, 2004 at 03:55 AM · Alex, you say you read an internet account, but you should know by now that the internet posts very false information at times, with a lot of one's own opinions. Also, because you don't know the internet site, you yourself aren't exactly the most reliable source. Please don't take any offence by that, it's not meant to be offensive.

I am very surprised that you consider the Saint-Saens No. 1 cello concerto to be 3 movements, because to me that is a 1 movement concerto. I know many many cellists who agree on that, including several students of Rostropovich and Leonard Rose, which implies that the two great masters also believed the same thing. Also, I have seen the Saint-Saens cello concerto as 1 track, but I've never seen the Vieuxtemps as 1 track.

May 8, 2004 at 04:09 AM · I'm so not liking the martele section toward the end... How fast do you guys take this? heifetz goes pretty fast.

May 8, 2004 at 04:50 AM · In my opinion arguing over whether or not a piece is one or three movements is pretty trivial in the end. A person can interpret a piece as having ten movements for all I care, as long as they are able to back up such an interpretation with their musicianship and artistry. I think that having such a harsh judgement for someone else's interpretation of a piece can serve as a musical dead end. People should be open to the acknowledgement of all interpretations of a piece. Every interpretation has its good points and bad points, but who is to say an interpretation is ever wrong. Vieuxtemps didn't tell any of us how many movements his concerto was intended to be, and I honestly wouldn't give a darn if he did.

May 8, 2004 at 06:29 PM · i wouldnt go as fast as heifetz, but i cant so i guess thats a null question in my case. THe martele section i've seen some people play more as a colle almost, something to give thought to.

May 8, 2004 at 07:06 PM · yeah, i've seen spiccato as well i'll see what I can do with the Colle bowing.

May 8, 2004 at 09:18 PM · Greetings,

martele has a very definite upper time limit on it. After that you should concider otehr kinds of bowing.

As for the rest of the debate, if you consume enough prunes the question of movements never arises,



May 9, 2004 at 07:20 AM · That was just a little crude, Buri.


May 9, 2004 at 09:22 AM · Greetings,

not by my standards Carl,



May 9, 2004 at 08:36 PM · Brian, i didnt say saint- saens cellokonzert no. 1, i said it uses monothematic development. The theme the cello plays in the very beginning happens in the beginning of the 3rd movement by the flute i think, and of cource, the solo

May 10, 2004 at 12:36 AM · "Rita is also very correct, although, using monothematic compostition does not always make the concerto 1 movement (ie. Saint-Saens Cello Concerto #1)."

Aren't you saying right there that that concerto is not 1 movement?

May 10, 2004 at 09:28 PM · lol, yeah good point..

May 10, 2004 at 09:28 PM · Lets take about this concerto by Viextemps now...I love it!

May 11, 2004 at 06:07 AM · conclusion Vieuxtemps 4th Violin Concerto is by far the best...:p

July 23, 2007 at 07:20 PM · Buri, I disagree, prunes definitely cause a movement for me...

July 23, 2007 at 10:10 PM · there's an excellent recording of No.5 by Victoria Mullova (I believe it's on Phillips label paired with Pagannini No.1).

July 24, 2007 at 05:24 AM · lots and lots of scales :)

July 27, 2007 at 07:16 AM · of all the virtuoso concertos somehow this has become my favorite (maybe im getting sick of the other ones)

i remember reading something about elmar oliveira played it at a tchaikovsky competition - no one was playing it then because it was so hard - and his performance made him the first american winner of that competition - if my memory serves me correctly it was in a book put out by strings magazine

i own recordings by heifetz kogan markov chang perlman mintz chung grumiaux vankeulen and keylin but it was the zukerman recording that did it for me, you gotta hear it

someone was nice enough to send me a dvd of little 12 yr old leila josefowitz playing it at the hollywood bowl (for which i am greatful)

dont have the mullova or ricci recordings, anyone heard them yet?

July 27, 2007 at 04:31 PM · I don't like V. concertos, they are too rethorical. so don't play them

July 27, 2007 at 07:09 PM · This piece, Spohr 8th, and Glazunov are composed with interconnected movements. It is not in one movement as suggested above.

Two fantastic recordings I would suggest are the early Heifetz recording made with the London Symphony conducted by Barbirolli and the Zukerman recording the LA Phil. I also have a tape somewhere of Kogan playing this piece. It is a fantastic recording. I just found out today that Vieuxtemps wrote a few cello concertos. Anyone happen to hear this pieces?

July 27, 2007 at 07:09 PM ·

July 28, 2007 at 06:21 PM · i bought the cello concertos recording, a little on the dull side i thought

the viola stuff is wonderful though, there is a cd naxos put out full of viola stuff by vieuxtemps well worth having and doesnt cost much

i also recommend ricci's hommage to vieuxtemps

i failed to mention that zukerman was nice enough to sign my cd and make sure to hear all the violin concertos vieuxtemps wrote

October 8, 2007 at 07:25 PM · Are there any DVDs of someone playing no. 5? Maybe on the EMI classics?

October 8, 2007 at 10:25 PM · change concert. there is better around!

October 8, 2007 at 10:27 PM · hello

I love this concerto , although its short and very difficult to be played right.

Becareful of the triplets double stop section of the first movement before the Cadenza and 3rd page of the first movement its so easy to rush there...

October 9, 2007 at 07:18 AM · I am playing it too. I listen to Heifetz and Zukerman's recording. It's kinda weird because I am usually not the go-to-heifetz-for-advice guy, but on this particular piece I absolutely love the way he plays it. And his slides are beautiful!

It's a very hard piece technically(at least for me it is), but make sure whatever you do, get those top notes!

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