The best piece that inspires

February 17, 2005 at 06:17 AM · Which is the best Violin piece that really inspires?

My choice is Vivaldi's "La Primavera" ("Spring"), I don't know if anyone agrees with this. If not, please suggest one with its details, since I have only heard a few Violin concertos.

Replies (68)

February 17, 2005 at 07:24 AM · Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, 3rd movement.

Ever since I watched the movie "Together," I've always felt a bit funny (in a good way!) listening to it. I know, the kid's obviously faking it and I've heard better. But still... that plot! and that piece!

February 17, 2005 at 01:48 PM · Inspiring...First mvt. Mendelssohn Concerto. For some strange reason, I feel elated after hearing it...hehehe..

February 17, 2005 at 03:07 PM · I have always found the entire Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto inspiring. For me, nothing in music beats experiencing a polished and assured performance of that piece.

February 17, 2005 at 09:04 PM · the first movement of sibelius- especially the opening... wow...

February 17, 2005 at 10:58 PM · Beethoven and Brahms concertos

February 17, 2005 at 11:24 PM · I think the first movement of Tchaikovsky and Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso are two very inspiring pieces. But I think the first movement of Sibelius takes the cake. It is SO beautiful!!!

February 18, 2005 at 04:13 AM · Tchaikovsky and Bruch come to mind.

February 18, 2005 at 04:29 AM · YES!!! high five for everyone who chose Tchaik!!! it's nice and kind of has a light feeling to it.

Also Vivaldi's Summer...sometimes i see something really dramatic in it...and in the 3rd mvt kind of like a thunderstorm which kind of adds a feeling of enthusiasm and's that type of music sounds that make me feel strong and confident for some reason.

The other kind of music that influences me..which way i cant really Sibelius because his music kind of has a dark, cold, and mysterious feeling to it but something about that kind of music appeals to me...i'm not even sure what it is.

February 18, 2005 at 04:41 AM · Robert Johnson - "Come on in my Kitchen"


February 18, 2005 at 05:29 AM · I think of the Beethoven 7th and 9th sonatas, the Schubert Fantasy. The Lark Ascending.

The Bach E major always cheers me up. As does Mozart's First Concerto.

And definitely the Intro and Rondo Capricioso.

February 18, 2005 at 07:48 AM · I have a lot... hahaha

1. Tchaikovsky violin concerto

2. Brahms violin concerto

3. Beethoven violin concerto

4. Shostakovich violin concerto no. 1

5. Schubert Death of the Maiden Quartet (I'm not sure if I got the title right)

6. Wieniawski Variations on an Original Theme Op. 15

7. Bartok violin concerto no. 2

8. Ysaye Sonata No. 3 (Ballade)

9. Wieniawski violin concerto no. 1

10. Bach chaconne

There are more, but I'm a little braindead and I can't think right now haha.

February 18, 2005 at 09:06 AM · Oh! I have a 'NEW' inspiring piece that makes me snap open my case and want to practice more..for some strange reason...

Bach Concerto for Two Violins, first mvt. :)

February 18, 2005 at 04:09 PM · >The Bach E major always cheers me up.<

Yes! GREAT piece.

February 18, 2005 at 04:26 PM · Opening movement of the Bruch Scottish Fantasy...

February 18, 2005 at 10:58 PM · Elgar VC 2nd Mvt - Menuhin 1932 - never fails to leave me feeling very different

February 19, 2005 at 12:55 AM · Bach Chaconne, The Lark Ascending, 2nd movements of Tchaik and Beethoven concertos, 2nd movement of Brahms D minor sonata, first mvt. of Sibelius, Shostakovich concertos, Beethoven op. 132 slow movement, Death and the Maiden, Op. 59, no. 3...Mendelssohn octet, I could go on forever...

February 19, 2005 at 09:14 AM · Remembrances from Themes from Schindler's List - John Williams.

Emotional and Inspirational.

February 19, 2005 at 08:06 AM · Mendelssohn (Op. 64), 1st mvmt. Without a doubt, the single melody that compelled me to keep learning the violin as a child.

February 19, 2005 at 05:11 PM · Call me a sentimental old fool, but Oistrakh playing the "Scottish Fantasy" can still move me to tears. Funny that it has been dismissed by some critics as being disingenously un-Scottish, but even if true, that's beside the point. Stunningly beautiful music, end of story.

February 20, 2005 at 03:46 AM · "Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, 3rd movement.

Ever since I watched the movie "Together," I've always felt a bit funny (in a good way!) listening to it. I know, the kid's obviously faking it and I've heard better. But still... that plot! and that piece! "

OMG!! SAME FOR ME!!!!!! That movie got me to really start my violin concerto collection and take violin a lot more seriously. Whenever I want to get inspired I just listen to that movement.

Wow that's really weird that you are the same...

Also, I think the 3rd mvt. of the Beethoven Concerto (especially where it goes into the minor after approx. 3 minutes) can be inspiring as well.

February 20, 2005 at 05:46 PM · For a soloist and orchestra: Brahms Violin Concerto (with Heifetz playing, of course). For two soloists and orchestra: Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello. And for Violin and Piano: Kreisler's "Caprice Vennois". For a solo violin: Paganini's 24 Caprices.

February 21, 2005 at 02:59 AM · It's not easy to choose... so my choice is Ave Maria by Shubert... or Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto...or...

February 21, 2005 at 05:30 AM · Beethoven piano concerto no.5 and violin concerto.

February 24, 2005 at 01:01 AM · mendelssohn concerto and probably tchakovski 1st and 3rd mvts (havnt played it yet, but i'm tryin.. hardd.. lol)

i also like the 4 seasons, always fun to play autumn

February 24, 2005 at 07:44 PM · The entire reason I decided to major in violin performance in college was because I wanted to someday play "The Lark Ascending" on some beautiful grassy hill in Scotland. Haven't gotten there yet.

I don't know what it is about Iona Brown's performance of that piece with Sir Neville Mariner that wraps me so tight, but there you have it--cannot listen to it without a few tears. I'll be anxious to hear Hahn's recording. I haven't found any I like better than Brown's yet.

The first piece I ever cried listening to was Itzak Perlman playing the Dvorak Romance. I was ten. My parents got me the tape (okay, so that dates me!)for Christmas.

Happy listening Vigeesh. Good question.

February 24, 2005 at 10:02 PM · kimberlee, are there any other recordings of the lark that you know of?

February 24, 2005 at 10:04 PM · its always chamber music for me. can't beat beethoven 74

February 24, 2005 at 10:17 PM · Josh--I've heard others, but I can't remember who recorded them. I know my teacher, Geoffrey Trabichoff, has a recording of the Lark out there somewhere--I think he plays it with the Scottish BBC Orchestra. I'm also thinking there's a Joshua Bell recording, but I won't stake my reputation on that, I could be dead wrong.

February 24, 2005 at 10:35 PM · When I was 11 I got a recording of Itzhak playing the Sibelius Concerto w/ the NY philiharmonic (I think). I remember there was a butterfly on the cover of the cassett. Nothing I've heard since has inspired me as much as this. Pratik, yes, wow.

May 5, 2005 at 09:27 PM · Pictures at an Art Exhibition, by Mussorgsky. It's my phone ringtone :-) Those Russian nationalist composers have a special place in my heart. Prokofiev's symphony #2 is very powerful too, especially the opening - such contrast and technique!

May 5, 2005 at 11:10 PM · Though it's been mentioned, I'd like to cast another vote for the Tchaikovsky concerto. I caught Vadim Repin's performance with the LA Phil last week and it brought tears to my eyes, it was THAT perfect! It will be many years before I even attempt such a piece but that didn't stop me from racing home after the concert and practicing like a man possessed.

May 5, 2005 at 11:21 PM · I'm so happy somone mentioned Bachs 'Chaconne'. To me the Bach solo sonatas and partitas do it for me. Not only do i enjoy listening to them but also playing them. Well the ones that i can play.

Ummm well and the piece that i most love of all and it did inspire to start violin was bachs double concerto for two violins the 2nd movment played by david and igor oister...(whatever)It's just the sweetest prettiest interpretation i have ever head.

Also i really really like the Sarasete Caprice Basque. It's on the violin masterclass website in the performance section under "putting it all together".

ok ok i could keep going but i wont.

May 6, 2005 at 03:11 AM · since everyones talking about concertos... saint-saens #3 and respighi's concerti

May 6, 2005 at 03:57 AM · Not necessarily the most inspiring piece.. but I think its just about the happiest piece I've ever heard.. Sarasate's Zapateado! Gotta love it.. just feels like the whole thing is just a big celebration.. someone was elated about something when Pablo wrote this goody.

May 6, 2005 at 05:36 AM · Hi all,

Yay, there's finally another fan of Bach here! For me, anything by Bach is inspirational. My fav. include Bach's Double played by Rachel Podger and Andrew Manze; Concerto in A minor and the 6 solo sonatas and partitas, all played by Rachel Podger (she's flawless!) Recently I also got into Bach's harpsichord concertos, obeo concertos and choral works. Apart from Bach, Vivaldi also does it for me - for his violin concertos to bassoon concertos to his choral works.

What can i say - i'm strictly Baroque!! =)


May 6, 2005 at 06:10 AM · I'm like Clarissa and Luke. Bach is #1 for me. I love evrything he wrote. The Chaconne is the ultimate. I have been inspired by all of Bach's S&Ps and his Double Concerto.

One of the "Aha" moments of my childhood was hearing Mozart's Eine Kleine. I still remember the experience so well. I knew, with clarity and conviction, that my violin was my personal voice.

May 6, 2005 at 06:24 AM · Currently I'm finding quite a lot of inspiration in the Bach C major sonata. At first, I thought the first movement was the best, the way it undulates and switches layers. Then, I started the second movement, the fugue, and nothing could be more fascinating than the way Bach weaves so many voices and lines together, and on a fiddle! However, then I started the third movement, and it is so existential, like a quiet afternoon spent in thought. Now, I'm looking to the last movement, which seems like a roller coaster ride.

I love this piece!

May 6, 2005 at 07:11 PM · Tie between Tchaik and Mendelssohn, then Bruch second movement, then first movement Bach E major, for me.

May 6, 2005 at 07:28 PM · hi all,

for me it has to be Bach's Partita No. 2 in D Minor, final movement (at the moment at least!). It's so powerful, so mullti-layered, at times it sound's like two violins! (I have Arthur Grumiaux's recording)


June 22, 2007 at 08:31 PM · Caprice Basque Op. 24" by Pablo Sarasate is an wonderful piece

June 22, 2007 at 09:22 PM · Most inspiring? How can you answer that? There are so many. I'd have to look at categories - concertos and short pieces.

Concerto: The Beethoven, Brahms, Bartok, Elgar, and all the other great ones are inspiring, but in the final analysis I agree with the Tchaikovsky. It may be a crowd-pleaser and an old warhorse and overplayed and schmaltzy and lacking in spiritual depth, but who cares. It's also as inspiring as anything ever written. And I think it brings out the best in most violinists who tackle it.

Short piece: Here's an odd one, but it's my current favorite for most inspiring - Tartini Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Arranged by Kreisler. Three of the greatest violinist-composers combining in one of the most inspiring and uplifting and truly majestic encore pieces I've ever heard. I don't think it's played enough. Great blend of melody, technique, harmony, excitement, and drama. There are a couple of wonderful older performances (one of them by Erica Morini), but the one by David Nadien is to die for.


June 15, 2009 at 02:48 AM ·

  • Lark Ascending
  • In tempus praesens (just got the recording that ending is... wow)
  • Sibelius concerto
  • Mendelssohn "      "
  • Bach Chaconne
  • Ysaye Ballade

.... might have to check my ipod..

June 15, 2009 at 03:06 AM ·

The piece which inspired me to play violin was the first movement (particularly the opening theme) of the Mendelssohn violin Concerto (op,64)- breathtaking, and startling, and alluring.Also:

First movement Sibelius violin concerto (opening theme- very beautiful and haunting)

Bach Chaccone

Bruch violin concerto- first movement theme

all of the Tchaikovksy Violin Concerto

Wieniawski concerto #2 in d minor (1st and 2nd movements)

The Lark Ascending

Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso- Saint-Saens

June 15, 2009 at 11:20 AM · Shostakovich Violin Concerto no. 1 Finale

June 15, 2009 at 11:26 AM ·

J.S. Bach; Brandenburg Concertos, esp: #5, 1st. movement.

J.S.Bach; Taccata & Fugue in D minor/Organ.

June 15, 2009 at 11:47 AM ·

The piece that really inspired me to pick up the violin, trite though it may be, was the Albinoni Adagio in G minor.  To me it has been one of the most beautiful violin works I've ever heard, and I've heard quite a few <grin>.  Gives me goose bumps everytime I hear it.

June 15, 2009 at 11:49 AM ·

I have to agree also with J Fisher.  The Mendelssohn is another one of my favorites.  An awe inspiring work.

June 15, 2009 at 12:08 PM ·


soul and passion? a piece that drips pathos I love it, love it...and soar to heaven every time I play it ...Theme from "Schindler's List"...

technique and a real good time?...Il Vivaldi Quattro Stagioni

something I wish I was able to play "well"  but can't, and no doubt never will be able to...Beethoven Concerto

something that I play better now than ever?... Bach A Minor slow movement

June 15, 2009 at 06:43 PM ·

Devil's trill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   


June 15, 2009 at 07:17 PM ·

Yes! devil's trill!

June 16, 2009 at 12:40 PM ·

Sometimes the most moving pieces that inspire one to play the violin are not necessarily violin solos. My vote is for the "Nimrod" variation of Elgar's Enigma Variations.

June 16, 2009 at 04:04 PM ·

Dvorak 9th symphony and Mendelsohn Scottish Symhpony. Never has music affected me so much and given me so much joy and wonder. This music always moves me and inspiries me. If I feel violin "tired" I think of playing those symphonies and I feel inspired to work hard.

June 16, 2009 at 05:16 PM · The most inspiring music I ever heard was the Hummel trumpet concerto in E-Flat Major

June 17, 2009 at 03:06 AM ·

For pure beauty and lyricism the Walton violin sonata and the first movement of the first Bartok violin concerto stand out.

The more I hear the Stravinsky violin concerto the more I prefer it to almost any other written in the 20th century, except maybe the Prokofiev concertos and the aforementioned Bartok.

Finally, for plain old listening pleasure the Korngold and Barber VCs aren't bad either.

August 4, 2009 at 06:13 PM ·

Glazunov violin concerto in a minor

ceasar franck violin and piano sonata 3rd and 4th

mostly soundtracks with the violin being featured.


August 4, 2009 at 06:36 PM ·

Mahler - Symphony No. 1

Alkan Symphony for solo piano

Beethoven Symphony No.9

James Macmillan - The confession of Isobel Gowdie

Messiaen - Quartet for the End of Time

Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto

R Strauss - Ein Heldenleben

Sibelius - Symphony No. 5

Wagner - Gotterdamerung

Walton - Symphony No.1

Allegri Miserere

etc etc...!

August 4, 2009 at 09:56 PM ·

Sibelius violin concert! ...i'm a Finn and Sibelius music can move me on a deeper level than anything else, it is as if i hear Finland in his music.

The lark acending is also a piece that can move me to tears... Most violin music inspires me to want to play and learn more and more, to me the violin is the most beautiful instrument in the world in every way!

this very thread inspires me, hah!

August 4, 2009 at 10:12 PM ·

A Sarah Salmi, I am a neighbour of Finland ;)  One piece which I discovered recently which I feel in love with is Lark Ascending. Now that´s perfection. And Beethoven violin concerto never fails to amuse me.

November 8, 2009 at 04:06 AM ·

   The Mendelssohn Concerto is my inspiration. The whole thing is just so intense sounding and it just has such depth to it. I'm still in the learning process (for college auditions mainly :P) but I'm so glad that I chose to learn it. The first time I heard it I said to my friend "I have to play that someday!" & now I am :) ....... But I have to agree, Spring is another inspirational piece... despite the fact that (I personally feel) it is over-played. When I was in middle school I heard Spring for the first time (the actual music, not someone's telephone or something like that) and I remember feeling so captivated by all of the trills and then of course the triplets in the middle of the first movement, and I just wanted to play it so badly (when I got older of course), and last year I got to play it with two of my close friends playing the other two solo-ish parts and an orchestra, and it was like a dream come true :)


November 8, 2009 at 12:09 PM ·

 Personally, it's the Beethoven concerto, the Bruch concerto, and any unaccompanied Bach... which happen to be the pieces I grew up listening to (and eitehr wanting to play or playing)

November 8, 2009 at 01:24 PM ·

Although I really like Spring (and even though this is a cello piece),I'd have to say the Elgar Cello Concerto, especially Jacqueline du Pre's recording, is mine (for now.... it may change in a few weeks :P).

In addition to Spring, a large majority of winter (especially the second movement!) sounds terrific. :)


November 8, 2009 at 01:47 PM ·

Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso does it for me.

November 8, 2009 at 06:07 PM ·

I agree with Nisha!  I love the Bach Double Concerto!!!

November 8, 2009 at 07:44 PM ·


I find lots of pieces inspiring. Anything by Brahms (although I'm bored of the Sonata movement) including the concerto. Tchaikovsky never gets dull, nor Sibelius or most of the Bach S&P.

I suppose the 4 seasons are always interesting and (perhaps rather unusually) I really like the sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord by Handel.

Pieces from my youth that still inspire are Smetana "Aus der Heimat", the Bloch "3 pictures" and the Max Bruch concerto. I also love the Svendsen Romance and F major Beethoven Romance. Prokofiev unaccompanied op.115 and Kabalevsky concerto too.

November 8, 2009 at 09:33 PM ·

Listening to Gil Shaham's recording of the Sibelius concerto just makes me feel so inferior.  His Elgar recording is insanely uplifting, though.

I also love the Beethoven and Brahms concertos - they can sure reignite your spirit on a bad day.

December 18, 2009 at 05:48 PM ·

Interesting question...  I was thumbing through my collection for inspirations...

* Sibelius VC, à la Ferras.  No one has done a better job in relaying that futile, desperate cry into the desolate void of Scandinavia - his version of that double-pass passage in Movement I and the motif in Movement II is probably best avoided during this Christmas season...

* Vivaldi 4 Seasons, but played by Jean-Pierre Rampal (ie FLUTE) [Sony recording in 1992]. 

Very inspirational - fast, crisp attacks with fastidious attention to phrasing (special recommendation on the "winter").  A spendid teaching material - even better than many recording violinists' versions - as to what is a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, etc etc.  (NB Do NOT go for the Galway version - Rampal makes Galway sound like a student.  But wait - Galway was a student of Rampal!!)

* Bach - 6 Sonatas for Violin and Harpischord BWV 1014-1019, version Szeryng-Walcha (1969)

I was first attracted to Bach by the Double Concerto (BWV1043), but I became in awe of his ingenuity by this set of sonatas.  The musical vision conveyed by Walcha and Szeryng (for lack of a better word, as Walcha somehow definitely "sees" Bach in such a special way that shows all his splendors, and Szeryng shared into that "vision")

* Schubert - "Trout" Quintett, version Amadeus Quartet + Emil Gilels (DG 1976)

* Mozart - Eine kleine Nachtmusik, version Amadeus Quartet (DG 1980)

I know the question was on concertos, but I hope these two chamber pieces give you the same inspiration as they have on me, in particular the second one.  I "see" Mozart very differently after listening to that version, in addition to re-calibrating my standard of what "ensemble playing" means.

December 19, 2009 at 04:20 AM ·

One piece that really inspired me, personally, was the Handel/Halvorssen Passacaglia. It's kind of a "violin salad" in my mind - it has a lot of different techniques to it but yet sounds beautiful. I'm hoping someday I'll be good enough to play it.

January 11, 2010 at 06:31 AM ·

Personally, I find the Handel/Halvorsen Passacaglia nauseating. As for Tchaik, I am inclined to say the same, ESPECIALLY the third movement! *bleh*. But this is not a criticism of Tchaikowsky, this is about what is inspiring! Personally, I find the Bach Sonatas and Partitas extremely inspiring, most of all the D minor Ciaccona. They sure as hell inspired me to play violin! A few others would be Ernst's "Last Rose of Summer" variations, Sibelius violin concerto, Paganini caprices and Concerto no. 1. I also found Wieniawski's 1st concerto in f# minor pretty inspiring!

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker

Miroirs CA Classical Music Journal
Miroirs CA Classical Music Journal

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Classic Violin Olympus

Coltman Chamber Music Competition

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Jargar Strings


Violin Lab



Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine