Virtuoso Showpieces

May 29, 2004 at 05:53 AM · I just want to know a list of very virtuoso concert pieces that really show off ones technique, is fast, and sounds I guess "difficult" to an audience. Excluding caprices and concert studies; strictly pieces, and preferably those that are so very well known. (Ie. The Dance Of The Goblins, Moto Perpetuo by Paganini or even The Flight Of The Bumblebee)

My reason for this question, or list of pieces is I have a concert I will perform in, in exactly two weeks from this friday May 28. Im already playing with piano the following pieces...

Paganini concerto no. 1-Allegro maestoso first mvmt

Adagio espressivo second mvmt

Rondo Alegro spirituoso third mvmt

This is where I need those short or long showpieces.

*My last request be that the last piece I play for my concert sould have an exciting or powerful ending, so try to order the pieces after the Paganini concerto...

Thanks plenty guys =))

Replies (27)

May 29, 2004 at 05:58 AM · Alex, after the whole of the Paganini concerto, do you really think you need flashy showpieces? Too much flash, one after another, dilutes its effectiveness, after all. How long is the recital, by the way? If you're just doing a one hour, no-intermission deal, I'd suggest a lyrical, somewhat thought-provoking work. Nothing like the Pag second movement; more like Tchaikovsky "Serenade Melancolique". Perhaps something like Chausson "Poeme", if it's a longer concert.

To finish, pick something which either ends fast (e.g. Pag Moto Perpetuo), or fast AND loud. But to tell the truth, any showpieces coming on the heels of the Pag third movement will make you feel like the audience reaction is less than you'd hoped. They'll be just as tired as you will, you see.

Maybe the Bazzini would be a good end for a programme, but only if you precede it with something both lyrical and musically significant.

May 29, 2004 at 06:09 AM · Emil is right, all the flash will get very boring, slow beautiful pieces move an audience just as much as and fast virtuoso piece. But just in case... Scherzo Tarantelle or Introduction and Tarantella is good. I think a slow lyrical piece would be good though.

May 29, 2004 at 11:42 AM · Eah who cares? Hit 'em with the most speed-demonic, most virtuosic piece you can come up with! I recommend Saint-Saens' Caprice or Paganini's Palpiti or Moto Perpetuo! Get the audience on their feet!

May 29, 2004 at 12:16 PM · I'm with Emil on this one.

May 29, 2004 at 01:06 PM · Greetings,

how about some unaccomapnaied Bach to show everyone what a multi dimensioanl player you are? The finish with alittle fluff.



May 29, 2004 at 01:48 PM · Try Introduction and Tarantella, it's the best of both worlds.

May 29, 2004 at 02:08 PM · If I were playing the Paganini concerto, I would conclude the concert in the following order:

Paganini- Nel Cor Piu non me sento

Milstein- Paganiniana Variations

Bach- Chaconne

Good luck with your concert

May 29, 2004 at 02:07 PM · I would play some solo bach if I were you... I mean really flashy showpieces are good, but after awhile it can really get monotonous. Anyone can play fast scales and arpeggios and doublestops and chromatics if they implant it into their muscle memory, but I think it takes a real artist to play Bach, and a real sense of self. Show your virtuoso side, but show your artistic side too. Getting an audience to get off their feet and be in awe over your technique is one thing, but playing solo bach in an individualistic and compelling way will make them makes me speechless anyway.

May 29, 2004 at 05:06 PM · Zigeunerweisen by Sarasate especially the third section. It sounds very fun, lively and fun to me!

I would love to play that piece!

One-Sim :)

May 29, 2004 at 05:49 PM · Yea that is a great piece

May 31, 2004 at 01:30 AM · If you decide to stick with Paganini, try Caprice Adieu

May 31, 2004 at 03:01 AM · You've already got a program well over a half hour with the Paganini alone. After the workout you'll get from that, I'd suggest a slow piece, then a fast piece. The Rondes de Lutins by Bazzini is a great, GREAT virtuoso piece, and so is Introduction and Tarantella. Paganini's G-String Variations on "Moses" is good, for a different color in your program. Dvorak's "Romance" opus 11 would be a fine slow piece, as would Elgar's "Salute d'Amour".

Another thing you might try is playing the Paganini last, and playing some Bach to warm up. Then, you could even try some Achron (Hebrew Melody) or some Chopin (maybe Nocturne Op.55 No.2 in E-flat). Since everyone's jaw will drop anyway at your Paganini, you might not even need another virtuoso piece. People want to hear gorgeous tone as much as they want to hear flying fingers :-)

May 31, 2004 at 11:58 PM · I agree with the solo bach idea. Astonishing pieces. Perhaps some Bartok (folk dances) or Stravinsky- alot of his transcriptions are very interesting and require quite a degree of virtuosity. The Suite Italienne, Duo Concertant and Russian Dance (from Petrushka) are all fantastic. 20th century music can add a bit of colour to a program. Maybe some schoenberg/webern or if you're feeling really adventurous, some Berio or Cage. It certainly provokes a reaction, in any case!


June 1, 2004 at 08:54 PM · thanks for your responses guys. About the lyricism...I should absolutely have a slow lyrical piece...but the thing is the concert is all show for the most part. I forgot to tell you that also next week I will include right after the paganini, Bach sonata no. 1 followed by tchaikovsky melodie in eflat, so there is some lyricism...and solo bach. then lastly a few show pieces...The concert will be about an hour or so..

June 14, 2004 at 09:50 AM · how about Ravel's 'Tzigane'? played it last year and it's a pretty show-off piece

June 14, 2004 at 06:09 PM · if youre up to it, weinaiwski's fantasy on faust theme is incredibly...wieniawski...but one of the more difficult showpeices

June 14, 2004 at 06:22 PM · lol...The fantasie briliante by wieniwaski on gounds faust. It is great very difficult, but I personally think its so show off"y" that it loses itslyrics that is in the original faust. I think Sarasates is much better. I am also going to play it now. ONCE I FIND THE SHEET MUSIC!!!. If anyone knows where to get it online or in the N.Y.C city area it would be apreciated. And I forgot to say this but my concert was last saturday...I played the Paganini my blogf for melodie by tchaikovsky and bach sonata no. grave were okay..To end the concert I played the dance of the goblins by Bazzini and I played it very well.

June 14, 2004 at 08:20 PM · I can only find the solo violin part only available on some of the internet music shop. Luckily I get my solo part and piano acc. from music college library. =)

June 15, 2004 at 12:59 AM ·

July 29, 2004 at 04:52 PM · God save the queen, carmen fantasy, dance of the goblins, tzigane,polonaise brilliante

July 29, 2004 at 05:53 PM · Milstein's Paganiniana and Mephisto Walz are very convenient show pieces. They are difficult technically, but also they are very violinistic, so some passages actually sound much harder then they are.

October 10, 2004 at 04:35 PM · Wieniawski's Les Arpeges (Variations on the Austrian NAtional Anthem)

October 10, 2004 at 12:25 AM · Why not Wieniawski's Polonaise

October 11, 2004 at 05:17 AM · I agree with Buri (and whomever else suggested solo Bach). It'd be gorgeous and a great contrast.

October 23, 2004 at 08:19 PM · Variations on the Autrian National Anthem (from L’ecole moderne) by Wieniawski

Polypohonic study number 6 by Ernst

Moses Variations Paganini

Bartok Solo sonatas

Ysaye Sonatas

Shchedrin Echo sonata or Bailaka(?)

Tzigane by Ravel

Dance of the goblins by Bazzini

Variations on God save the Queen by Paganini

Carmen Fantasy by Waxman

October 23, 2004 at 10:32 PM · Alex has already performed at the recital (according to the blog).

October 24, 2004 at 01:54 AM · bartok solo sonata is not a virtuosic piece, also i wouldnt recommend tackling that until college age at the minimum.

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