Vieuxtemps Concerto No. 5 - What do you think?

May 10, 2006 at 04:20 AM · My teacher wants me to learn the fifth concerto by Vieuxtemps (A minor). I mentioned this to a couple of my fellow students and I received disparaging smirks and was informed that it is apparently a "student concerto". Personally, I consider it a great honor to be given a new piece to learn, but I have to admit that I am dismayed at the lack of appreciation for our dear friend Vieuxtemps and his concerto. What do you all feel about it?

Replies (88)

May 10, 2006 at 04:31 AM · The only way this piece is a student concerto is in that Vieuxtemps wrote it for his students. From what I know, though, his students were very advanced, and he wrote it for them to use in competitions. It is definitely a valid work in its own right. Listen to the Heifetz recording for proof of the work's merit! I love the cadenza. Don't be ashamed to learn this piece, it's quite a nice concerto.

May 10, 2006 at 04:35 AM · it is one of our favorite concertos in the repertoire.

By no means it is a student concerto.

It is considered a virtuoso work.

Yes it is an excellent piece especially for aspiring young and talented violinists, but it does not diminish its status to a student work. It has certainly survived the test of time unlike the many other concertos by Viotti, DeBeriot, Rode, Baillot, Kreutzer, Lipinski & more.

Consider yourself fortunate to have such a great piece to learn and to love.

May 10, 2006 at 05:13 AM · Mike wrote:

I mentioned this to a couple of my fellow students and I received disparaging smirks and was informed that it is apparently a "student concerto".

It is typically the reaction of small minded and jealous people to disparage what is beyond them, so as to build themselves up in there own minds.

May 10, 2006 at 05:55 AM · When Vieuxtemps wrote it, it was soon after adopted as a test piece to enter the Brussels Conservatory. It is a very difficult piece to play and you'll develop a great virtuoso technique after learning it. It is also a great competition piece. Most difficult movement is the 1st & the cadenza. It joins into one 18 minute piece, with the slow movement linking into the last movement that last 1 minute. I had a pupil who was so talented that she could even sight-read it. Amazing!

May 10, 2006 at 08:34 AM · Wow. I have spent a day with this piece and I am hooked. I had no idea it was so powerful and beautiful. I am glad to hear from you all that what I was told is inaccurate because from what I think after practicing it, this piece is nothing short of spectacular. I love it and I couldn't be happier to learn it. I actually feel kind of ashamed that I'd never heard it before. My goal will be to come back in the fall semester and play it in such a way as to make others love it as much as I do.

May 10, 2006 at 11:13 AM · I first heard this work on cd with Zuckermann playing. The cd also has Lalo's Symphony Espagnole. It is quite a great work, of course Zuckermann's playing is fantastic. I played the Orchestral part in 2004.


May 10, 2006 at 01:03 PM · Some hints on playing here

May 10, 2006 at 01:37 PM · I've never heard of this piece being referred to as a student concerto. This piece was written for competition use for Professor Hubert Leonard of the Brussels conservatory. Anyone familiar with the virtuoso works of Leonard will realize that he was more than capable of writing his own piece...but Vieuxtemps was all the rage at this time and still is ;-) As well, make sure to learn both cadenzas for this piece. For recordings, I would recommend Sarah Chang.

Unlike Vieuxtemps' contemporaries, his works were not virtuosity for the sake of it. Minus his Paganini period! In which he wrote many great showpieces...most notably the Norma Fantasy for scordatura 4th string only (tuned to middle C) fantastic showpiece!

And for Gennady, I'm working on reviving the concertos you mentioned. I have set up a recording of the de Beriot concertos 2,3, & 5 to be recorded by the violinist Philippe Quint late this year for the Naxos label. Soon to be followed by the rest of the concerti and the Scenes de Ballet 1 & 2. Most are familiar only with the 9th concerto of Beriot, which is considered a student work...few know of the rest (besides the 7th of course). #2 is a masterpiece "Russian Concerto" it is called, #3 is very virtuosic (tastefully so), #4 a very difficult concerto in a single movement (not de Beriot's best), #5 is a dainty short piece that I would call fun, #6 is also dandy with a very beautiful slow movement, #7 was a Maud Powell favorite, #8 is a larger work and the only Beriot concerto with a period cadenza, #9 I'm sure you're all familiar with...great piece! #10 is a short concerto also in a minor and would be great for student study.

As well, with the 19 Kreutzer concertos...most are quite forgettable, I have orchestra parts to all...#16 is a neat concerto based on Haydn Themes...and the 18th was a fav of Paganini, the 19th was used by Auer quite often.

May 10, 2006 at 01:55 PM · I think this piece is quite wonderful and I believe Elmar Oliveria used it when he won the Tchaik Competition if my memory serves right. And it was "good enough" for Jascha Heifetz to record...

May 10, 2006 at 03:19 PM · Kevin:

You are right about Oliviera(sp?). There is supposedly a recording of his performance. I've never heard it.

May 10, 2006 at 03:43 PM · Yes it is a Russian recording (LIVE) from the competition.

It was his best playing.

May 10, 2006 at 05:19 PM · I don't know what Heifetz thought of Vieuxtemps #5, but I read that years after he recorded #4 with Barbarolli, the two were talking and found out that neither had ever played it since. I think that Vieuxtemps is another one of those underrated violinist-composers. I think that #5 and #4, while certainly not in the class of Beethoven or Brahms, are certainly attractive and heartfelt and wonderfully constructed works that show off the violin to its best melodic and technical advantage. Sometimes that's enough.


May 10, 2006 at 06:11 PM · Yes, Spohr is another - and not just his violin music, he wrote other attractive, well-scored pieces.

May 10, 2006 at 08:01 PM · Vieuxtemps 5 is definately a piece to fall in love with... beautiful melodies, a great solo intro and dazzling passage work... a real technique builder. I rate Viktoria Mullovas recording very highly, she plays a great cadenza and is very very musical.

May 10, 2006 at 08:39 PM · Maybe people think it's a student concerto because they find the lyrical passages sound silly and too simple, but that's just the difficulty of the concerto: to make the tunes sound as beautiful as possible and NOT CHEAP. You will find this in a lot of French and Belgian concertos by violinist-composers. Compare with Rode for example. The phrasing is extremely difficult. While German composers are more likely to concentrate on the intellectual and emotional aspect of music, the French and Belgians concentrate more on the beauty and delicacy.

If you want to hear this Belgian concerto played by a Belgian violinist, listen to Grumiaux. (Hehe, this sounds almost like a commercial:-))

May 10, 2006 at 09:20 PM · The French violinist/composers of this particular period in general were afraid of fireworks, while the Belgians used them tastefully...minus Francois Prume of course, he got a little carried away. Of course there was Vieuxtemps' Paganini inspired period...please excuse me for being so general!

May 10, 2006 at 09:38 PM · Greetings,

no its not a student cocnerto except in the sense that we are al students for our whole lives. Oliviera won in Moscow playing it. Ysaye revered the work. Auer advoctaed his students play a lot of Vieuxtemps. In the Way They Play, Mr. Bron describes how this concerto opens up te player to 'the grand manner' of big playing. Part of the problem is, perhaps that -students- don"t know how to play this piece. First abnd foremost it is an absolutely lyrical work. Every scale and set of chords should be treated as the most beautiful singing melody. That is a lifetimes challenge. A typiocal student will think only in terms of being 'faster than Heifetz" of louder than Chang or whatever and the end result makes a masterpiece sound like a student work.

If you can sing this piece as it should be then you won't have much trouble with other major works,



May 11, 2006 at 12:45 AM · I agree with Buri in full. This thread is the first time of my hearing this great concerto being called a student concerto...this to me is putting it on the same level with Seitz and Reiding.

May 11, 2006 at 02:20 AM · to Mike P. ,

I think you should laugh out loud at the person who said this most ridiculous statement to you.

There are so many great recodings of this fantastic piece.

Learn it and love it. It is obvious that everyone here loves it.

May 11, 2006 at 02:27 AM · Mike,

If that is the prevailing opinion at your school, drop out, and go somewhere where the mean IQ isn't 90.

May 11, 2006 at 03:29 AM · or even the nice IQ is 90...

May 11, 2006 at 03:54 AM · I first thought that Vieuxtemps was a horrible composition, poorly written, asymmetrical form, no real melody...then I listened to Heifetz and realized I was wrong!

May 11, 2006 at 04:31 AM · in fact it was Heifetz who was a poorly written composition...

May 11, 2006 at 06:22 AM · Well, good luck Jonathan with your Beriot project. I will be the 1st person to buy the whole set. Nishizaki recorded Beriot No 1, 8 & 9 for Marco Polo - I have this CD - Nice music.

As for Vieuxtemps 5, I have Heifetz, KW Chung, Sarah Chang, Perlman & Grumiaux. I like the 1st 3 - Heifetz is of course unique (with cuts), great playing from Chung (very fine Decca CD), S Chang (also great playing from her). Perlman - slightly sluggish from the great guy and Grumiaux - CD sounds slightly dated.

May 11, 2006 at 08:47 AM · a pianist would not touch a piece of this compositional level with a ten-foot pole. Proud to be mannerist, this concerto hasn't got one fresh idea to its name. Which is not to say that one shouldn't learn it for building technical skill - it's very difficult indeed.


May 11, 2006 at 10:09 AM · LOL!

This is definetely not a "student" concerto. It is such a beautiful/lyrical concerto and with beguiling fireworks here and there. The last movement is very spectacular! and I believe that although Heifetz played it at lightning speed, Chang's cleaner but still devilishously fast recording is preferred.

May 11, 2006 at 10:13 AM · Greetings,

But Ilya, I've never met a ten foot Pole,



May 11, 2006 at 01:03 PM · The Vieuxtemps is a lovely piece, but its musical quality shouldn't be exaggerated. I don't think it should be compared to, say, the Mendelssohn.

It is extremely valuable as a piece of violinistic history, too-- Vieuxtemps's goal of adapting the "technical demands of the modern day" to the "pure style of Viotti" makes his concerti historical milestones.

May 11, 2006 at 01:28 PM · This thread is out of control. There is no exageration in the musical worth of this piece. Quite simply, Vieuxtemps wrote the piece for Hubert Leonards use in the years 1858 and 1859. This concerto of Vieuxtemps is full of melodic beauty. Take this Auer quote

"Vieuxtemps's Concertos - especially the fine one is A minor - and his brilliant bravura compositions are all rich in beautiful musicl ideas besides being quintessential virtuoso music. I do not see how the discriminating violinist can well exclude them from his repertory. Aside from the formidable passage work woven with many lovely melodies which sing beautifully on the instrument, and are distinctive both in theme and development."

May 11, 2006 at 01:30 PM · and for Buri, here is a great quote from Vieuxtemps that holds true to this day...take note Ilya ;-)

"A young violinist is appearing on the horizon. He has, I think, very great possibilities, but he has taken a rather dangerous course. His musical education is entirely French, glittering, full of taste if you will, but an effeminate taste, a trivial one, and it tires you. He played some concertos by Viotti, who needs to be executed with broad strokes, who demands a broad, pur design; he played it as one plays a little air with variations, with a thousand prettinesses and caresses...It is like a painter who, in depicting Hercules, dresses him up in a ball dress with ribbons, lace and trinkets. But the audience, who neither knows nor understands, applauds and cries out at the miracle."

The last few lines are all yours Ilya ;-)

May 11, 2006 at 01:37 PM · I don't mean to suggest that Vieuxtemps didn't write good music, nor that violinists should ignore his music; just the opposite, I think his music is interesting and essential for violinists.

But essential for violinists does not mean essential for the general listener. These pieces are essential for violinists, and very enjoyable for any listener.

(incidentally, I'm currently learning Vieuxtemps no. 5, and enjoying it very much.)

May 11, 2006 at 01:39 PM · So, violinist Ilya Gringolts - when are you learning the Vieuxtemps 5 and recording it?

May 11, 2006 at 01:40 PM · When he finds the appropriate ball dress with ribbons? :-)

May 11, 2006 at 02:53 PM · You know what, you can't put Vieuxtemps and Mendelssohn in the same room, let alone a sentence. However, I despise hearing this whole "student" concerto thing. Kids sneer at having to play Mendelssohn as if their teacher just asked them to play twinkle twinkle little star.

Bruch gets the same treatment. To me, it doesn't reach the same level as Mendelssohn, but the piece is great in my opinion (written on nice paper as Brahms put it). I almost think that kids should learn Mendelssohn after they've done Brahms, Tchaikovsky etc... so that they can appreciate its difficulty and musical demands.

May 11, 2006 at 03:31 PM · I believe that there is a difference between "Good" music (Vieuxtemps, Vivaldi, Paganini 2, Schumann), "Great" music (Bruch, Saint-Saens 3, Lalo, Paganini 1) and "Inspired" Music (Mend, Beeth, Sib, Castelnuevo-Tedesco, Szymanowski 1).

But all is "Good".

Then there is "Bad" music (Lipinski, Beriot), "Awful" music (Kubelik, Rawsthorne) and "Buri's" music. (Rabbit concerto 1-3; Music for vacuum-cleaner, a naughty door-mat and little rabbitchildren...)

But this is just what I think :)

May 11, 2006 at 06:09 PM · Vivaldi is great Music I think.

May 11, 2006 at 07:02 PM · Lalo is great music?

May 11, 2006 at 07:06 PM · Yes Sords, there is a lot more to Lalo than the Symphonie Espagnol.

May 11, 2006 at 10:36 PM · All I've heard from Lalo is Symphonie espagnole which is in my opinion not great but very good, and the cello concerto which in my opinion isn't very good.

May 11, 2006 at 10:57 PM · Greetings,

Mattias, I think the status of compositions can be understood metaphorically via `taking a dump.`

Somedays the experience is so rewarding and relaxing one leaves the room with a smile on the face and the knowledge that all is right with the world.

Other days either nothing is moved, the result is curiously unsatisfactory or what has emerged is basically water under pressure.

All these events are a necessary part of the human experience on a daily basis but `taking a dump` remains `taking a dump`



May 12, 2006 at 12:22 AM · As usual, Buri clears up the matter.

May 12, 2006 at 12:24 AM · You might want to re-read as there is no matter in need of clean-up.

May 12, 2006 at 10:38 AM · Buri, I've took a dump as you prescripted. Now, where should I put it? I can't stand here with it all day?

May 12, 2006 at 01:16 PM · I have played the concerto in question, I believe. And loved it. That is no indication of anything, however - I tend to fall in love with everything I play, bad habit, I know... Vieuxtemps 5 is not a great piece of music. "Well, that's just like...your" (Lebowsky)


May 12, 2006 at 02:10 PM · Of all the virtuoso concertos, this is my favorite, the one I want to play the most. I would rather see someone play vieuxtemps 5 more than mendelssohn, tchaikovsky, sibelius, paganini, wieniawski, lalo, or saint saens (but not as much as I like to see beethoven or brahms played)

..but thats just me

Of course I have many recordings but my favorites are heifetz, zukerman, and kogan, all wonderful!

May 12, 2006 at 09:45 PM · I agree with Pieter about the Mendelssohn. I've come back to it about 3 times and I am still polishing the phrases and working out the delicate bits. Every part of it has the potential to gleam like jewels. Busybody practicehall-rats hear me play it and ask "why are you playing that?" I reply "because it's one of the finest creations of mankind". I know it's not just my school though. I ran into this kind of thing in Aspen too. I think in every barrel of music students there are mostly bad apples. They all rush through Mendelssohn when they're about 7 years old and they think it's like Seitz. At least I know their Beethovens sound like dry cardboard music.

May 13, 2006 at 02:59 PM · Peter said: "You know what, you can't put Vieuxtemps and Mendelssohn in the same room, let alone a sentence. However, I despise hearing this whole "student" concerto thing. Kids sneer at having to play Mendelssohn as if their teacher just asked them to play twinkle twinkle little star.

Bruch gets the same treatment. To me, it doesn't reach the same level as Mendelssohn, but the piece is great in my opinion (written on nice paper as Brahms put it). I almost think that kids should learn Mendelssohn after they've done Brahms, Tchaikovsky etc... so that they can appreciate its difficulty and musical demands. "

I agree with you about Mendelssohn. I know a lot of "kids" who play Mendelssohn and butcher it because they don't take it seriously enough, and then there are students who make it sound really great. I believe the same applies to Bruch No. 1. Most students (myself included) play around with it, but don't ever really learn it like we would another concerto. This is why I am relearning Bruch ;).

I think that this idea of student concertos is way out of hand. Just because a student can play a certain concerto doesn't make the concerto a "student concerto." Some students even think Lalo is a student concerto. I've heard Lalo butchered so many times I can't stand it. Vieuxtemps is not a student concerto.

May 14, 2006 at 07:26 PM · Agree that it's no Sibelius, but I can't help but love it, it's just so passionate and dramatic. Kind of a "guilty pleasure", almost, a bit like schmaltzy gypsy stuff.

May 14, 2006 at 10:13 PM · One thing I've always appreciated about Jascha Heifetz is that he very clearly took every piece of music he played very, very seriously. Maybe you can accuse him of playing mechanically, but it is clear that every performance is incredibly well prepared and meticulously well thought-out.

And maybe a performer may think that a piece is superficial or a "student" work, but there is always a listener out there somewhere who will be moved by any given piece of music. I believe that a true artist needs therefore to take each piece seriously.

One of the greatest things, I believe, about the 1950's Menuhin recording of the Paganini 2nd concerto (with Fistoulari and the Philharmonia), in spite of the technical struggles, is that he plays it like it's the most serious piece of music ever written. And, therefore, it sounds that way; what an inspiring performance.

May 15, 2006 at 01:03 AM · Vieuxtemps is pretty. It's very technically difficult. By that I mean, student concerto is relative. While the Seitz concertos are easy student concertos to some they are daunting to others. I suppose for somebody like Heifetz the technical barriers of the Vieuxtemps would be student level, but they scare the heck out of me.

While there exist some pieces and etudes by violinist composers that are pretty much musically empty and seem to have been written just to show off or develop technical brilliance, Vieuxtemps isn't one of them, so I don't see how learning it could ever be a waste of time or worthy of the contempt that your peers seem to have shown you.

Besides, even if it WERE a musically empty very easy piece of music it's not right for them to say something like "oh that, it's just a student piece"

May 15, 2006 at 02:48 AM · The Dont and Rode Caprices are student pieces, but they are very difficult. "Student piece" doesn't mean "easy piece." It means "piece written for the pedagogical or performance use of students."

May 15, 2006 at 03:25 AM · Greetings,

that`s interesting Jude. How doe s one establish that the pieces were actually written according to that definition? Hypothetically, for example, during his time at the Paris conservatoire Rode wa sspecifically asked to write pieces for the sue of students...

I think according to your deifnition theRode caprices are `student works` although I do know profesisonal players who use them to stay in shape her ein japan. However, to me, the Dont are basically professional level pieces and I cannot quite square the defintion with the fatc that szerynhg wa splaying number one of that book to the end of his days.

The Kreutzeretudes are also an ontersting case. The have arguably beocme `student works` but a case coud be made fr them being written with the intent of being a finishe dplayer`s `daily dozen` and I know you know how many of the rgeats used them in such a way(Heifetz, Wieniawski, Kubelik, Szigeti and many British violi and viola players such as Harry Danks and Hugh Bean)

Idle thoughts,


May 15, 2006 at 03:34 AM · I have heard Vextemps concerti and the Wieniawski no. 2 both called "student concertos." Are they still suitable for an audition? Perhaps just a school audition but not a professional audition?

May 15, 2006 at 01:38 PM · I'm probably going to be recording Wieniawski 2 to send off for applications to conservatory, might be playing something different by the time actual auditions come around. The way I see it, even if you're playing a "Student Concerto", if you play it well, it's just as impressive as a bigger work. Besides, what's wrong with students playing "Student Pieces"....I have to say I've heard one too many ambitious student hacking through Tchaik or Sibelius....


May 15, 2006 at 01:42 PM · Buri, I think I agree with you. Perhaps I should add to my definition of "student piece" that it should hold minimal interest for professionals and advanced students, like the Seitz, Rieding, and Accolay concertos and the "Infant Paganini" pieces. So Rode and Dont Caprices might not qualify.

Incidentally-- let's not forget the viola and cello counterparts to the violinist Dont: Cant and Wont.

May 15, 2006 at 04:18 PM · Don't play Dont, I always say (though I do play it every day...)

May 15, 2006 at 06:52 PM · I think of Dont as preparation for the Brahms concerto - IMO there's not a lot else out there that's got the same style

Wieniawski 2 - great pro audition piece (I was told)

I'd say the Scottish Fantasy is a good 'student piece', though a great concert work too

May 15, 2006 at 07:23 PM · You know what they say--violinists Dont, violists Cant and cellists Wont.

May 15, 2006 at 07:38 PM · I have a question how do you pronounce the name Vieuxtemps?

May 15, 2006 at 08:11 PM · Good question.

May 15, 2006 at 08:20 PM · "view-tomp."

May 15, 2006 at 08:20 PM · View-Tom

May 15, 2006 at 10:45 PM · Greetings,

do you know his Chinese cousin Pee Ping?



May 15, 2006 at 10:56 PM · My French is appallingly weak, but doesn't "Vieuxtemps" mean something like "old-timer"????

May 15, 2006 at 11:30 PM · Something like that-- "old times" is closer. Alternately, "old weather" would be correct.

May 16, 2006 at 01:32 AM · I think he was Belgian.

May 16, 2006 at 02:38 AM · Greetings,


Languages spoken in Belgium: Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%,


Le Buri

May 16, 2006 at 05:34 AM · lol, Vivaldi being placed in the lowest level of good music is funny to me.

May 16, 2006 at 09:21 AM · If you can only write one piece, write it a half million times and you'll be famous, otherwise you'll be unknown. Frederick the Great was a better composer. Better than Telemann too.

May 16, 2006 at 03:46 PM · Teacher of Vieuxtemps: de Beriot

Student of Vieuxtemps: Ysaye

Thanks Buri, not many people know they also speak Dutch in Belgium!

May 18, 2006 at 02:29 PM · Teacher(s) of Beriot: Tiby & Baillot the later having the Beriot op.9 dedicated to him :-)~

May 18, 2006 at 05:12 PM · Teacher of Ravel (piano): Charles Wilfred Beriot

May 18, 2006 at 05:46 PM · Wait a minute, does that mean Vieutemps 5 is EASIER than the Mendelssohn (where does the l go in mendlessohn anyway?). That seems to be the impression you guys are giving off, and yet to me the double stops and trill double stops sound fiendish!

May 18, 2006 at 08:53 PM · Hi,

Ella, the answer is yes. I think that the Mendelssohn is underrated in difficulty. Funny that Zukerman admitted on CBC in an interview that he hasn't played it in public in 10 years because he feels he no longer has the technique on the level needed for the piece (and that he has to practice it to teach it). That tells all. It is much more difficult than people think. There is no room for anything less than gold in this piece.


May 18, 2006 at 10:39 PM · Greetings,

I agree with Christian. Arnold Steuinhardt describes the same kind of thing in `indivisible by Four.` Also Milstein commented on how this concerto was so difficult to find the balance between a kind of elegant classicism and romance. He rated it as the most perfetc of all concertos.



May 18, 2006 at 10:46 PM · And yet Zukerman has a SUPERB rendition of the Mendelssohn coupled with a SUPERB rendition of the Tchaikovsky done when he wasn't even 30.

I'm not a Zukerman fan in general, but I really admire that particular effort. Both of those concertos he played were extraordinary.

It was interesting to see Milstein "coaching" Zukerman on Mendelssohn bowings in their video. Milstein tries to get Zukerman to do his bowing, and then Zukerman says "But I'm Zukerman". Milstein laughs in defeat and says "He probably always says that".

May 19, 2006 at 12:46 AM · I think you're talking about Milstein was trying to get Zukerman to not do a certain shift in a Mozart piece because he said it was too sweet and Zukerman said "But I'm Zukerman" Because zukerman means sugar man in German.... this discussion has gone completely off topic.

May 19, 2006 at 01:27 AM · Haa! "Zuker man!" Brilliant! (Too bad I couldn't use that excuse when I schmaltzed up a Haydn quartet a few months ago...I'm still getting razzed about that...)

May 21, 2006 at 09:42 PM · I know I'm a bit late in joining this discussion, but I do like both the 4th and 5th Vieuxtemps Concertos. I really don't think they are played enough. I've only played 5, and found it pretty challening, and ok, it's not the deepest piece of music in the world but I think there are some beautiful melodies and stunning moments.

Ilya - very appropriate (and funny) comment...keep thinking of green nail polish when I remember that movie! Btw, I think my phone's stopped sending texts to you. I'm not getting delivery reports so it seems you're not receiving them...don't know why...

May 21, 2006 at 10:57 PM · Enosh wrote: "I think you're talking about Milstein was trying to get Zukerman to not do a certain shift in a Mozart piece because he said it was too sweet and Zukerman said "But I'm Zukerman" Because zukerman means sugar man in German.... this discussion has gone completely off topic. " The German would have extra letters - Zuckermann - so presumably the spelling is Yiddish?

September 12, 2007 at 07:39 PM · Yesterday my teacher suggested I learn Vieuxtemps 5 for auditions, and after listening to a few recordings (Kogan, Heifetz, and Markov), I am really looking forward to it.

In fact, I'd like to learn most of the major ones because they are quite useful, especially for teaching (which I am interested in).

I'll post my recording when I'm done.

September 12, 2007 at 08:00 PM · The second movement is truly beautiful.

January 6, 2009 at 04:53 AM ·

To call such a great piece a student work is an insult! Misha Keylin made a FABULOUS recording of all seven Vieuxtemps concertos, and I find them far superior to those of Heifetz and Zukerman.

February 12, 2009 at 09:55 PM ·

I learned it 15 years ago in college, with Carol Sindell (a Heifetz pupil).  She learned it with Heifetz, and actually gave me a photocopy of the score she learned it from, which the great Jascha himself had marked.  Needless to say, it is a wonderful piece, even if it isn't played much.  I like one-movement concertos, and the Vieuxtemps has a killer cadenza.  It has a playing time of only about 20 minutes. It encompasses just about every aspect of violin technique and definitely tests a violinist's ability to 'sing' certain passages.  As far as it being a student piece...well, it kinda does have that feeling at certain junctures.  But overall, I'd say it would fare quite well on any concert program...particularly if the audience is open-minded enough to hear something other than the Mendelssohn or Tchaikovsky, which of course are played to death.  I would love to play the Vieux 5 and then Chausson Poeme (which takes about 15 minutes, so the playing time would be able 35 minutes total.)  I'd recommend the Vieux 5 to anyone.  Definitely worth learning.  I learned the Vieux 4 too but I didn't really like it.  No one plays it is kind of a dated concerto, like the Ernst and Conus.

February 13, 2009 at 11:10 AM ·

 And what about Hubay's.? Nobody plays it. A real pariah to violinists.

February 13, 2009 at 04:17 PM ·

 I getting quite sick of the standardization of "student concertos;" who is to say which person is a student and which person is not? Are we not constantly evolving (musically) and learning from everyday encounters with our instruments? My eighty-two year old teacher says the older she gets, the more she learns from her students. Moreover, I don't think it's possibly to differentiate between a "student concerto" and a "professional concerto," especially in this day and age, when little toddlers play Tchaikovsky and Paganini on YouTube. When it gets right down to it, labeling one concerto as a student concerto and another as "professional" is only a way of making oneself feel some sort of gratification from climbing the step-ladder of concerti. Think about it, the feeling of saying "I've learned the Mendelssohn, I can move on to the Tchaikovsky" is no different than that of saying "I've finished Wolfhart, now I can play the Seitz" (or whatever!). After all, the reason why we learn pieces is just that- to LEARN from them. It's not so much a matter of what you play, it's a matter of how you play it! A music school would be much more inept to accept someone who plays a Mozart Concerto flawlessly than someone who painstakingly hacks away at something like the Schoenberg.

So I guess what I'm saying is GO FOR IT! The Vieuxtemps concerto is beautiful (no. 5), especially if you hear Heifetz' recording. I think it's a wonderful piece, and as many others said, I'm sure it will help you in playing more lyrically and in understanding the "singing" aspect of the sixteenth note passages!

February 13, 2009 at 08:07 PM ·

IMO, there are only 3 really, really good recordings of this piece.  Heifetz's from the early 60s, Sarah Chang's with Dutoit when she was about 16, and Alexander Markov's done in the 90s (one of only a few recordings he has done so far.)  There is a new one by Mischa Keylin - he recorded all the Vieux's ok but very pedantic and careful. 

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