Next Concerto???

May 14, 2006 at 03:04 AM · I'm looking for a good concerto to learn. I've recently played Bruch in G minor, and Wieniewski Polonaise D major. I'm looking for something between Bruch and Tchaikovsky that isn't the Mendelssohn. Any ideas?

Replies (69)

May 14, 2006 at 03:21 AM · Jeez, I've been ooching around that zone of the repertoire for about three or four years now. Between Bruch and Tchaik there is: Lalo, Wieniawski 2, Vieuxtemps 5, Mozart 4 and 5 (soooo much harder than they sound) Saint-Saens, Dvorak (actually that one is kind of a beast), maybe Glazunov, Khachaturian (I love that one!!), and about a zillion others I can't think of right now. Basically when you ask for something "in between Bruch and Tchaikovsky", you're asking about more or less the entire repertiore--Tchaik is one of the serious biggies, right there with Brahms and maybe the Paganinis. The biggest, most thoroughly out-of-reach (for me anyway) are Shostakovich #1, Sibelius, and Beethoven. I have such respect for those three mighty works that I dare not attempt them until I know I can do them justice. But now I'm off topic......

If you've just done Bruch, Wieniawski 2 might be a logical next step. If you want an adventure and can get your fingers around some odd Armenian tonality try the Khachaturian, it's so much fun. :)


May 14, 2006 at 03:31 AM · -Lalo/Symphonie Espagnole

-Wieniawski/Concerto No. 2 in d minor

-Saint-Saens/Concerto No. 3 in B


-Paganini/Concerto No. 1 in D

-Vieuxtemps/Concerto No. 4 and 5


-Glazunov/Concerto in a minor

and there are even more possibilities, like mentioned above

May 14, 2006 at 03:33 AM · Excuuuuuuse me?! Paganini #1 in with all those? That piece gave my best friend acute tendonitis!

Also Brahms is bigger than Tchaik IMHO. But maybe it just sounds that way cos it's in minor. ;)


May 14, 2006 at 04:10 AM · Definitely do Brahms AFTER Tchaik.

May 14, 2006 at 04:41 AM · But which one would best prepare me to do Tchaik?

May 14, 2006 at 05:28 AM · I would say Lalo, Vieuxtemps, Wieniawsky, and Paganini.

May 14, 2006 at 05:38 AM · Wiekiawski #2 is a good choice.

May 14, 2006 at 12:02 PM · Goldmark first







Bruch's Scottish


May 14, 2006 at 01:03 PM · Can we find the midi version of these concertos anywhere on internet? I did the Mendelsohn with one midi, I put the 3rd mvt up in my profile page of one midi I played along with. I play just as a hobby. It is fun. I am looking for good vln sonata midis too.

May 14, 2006 at 01:46 PM · Hi,

From a teacher's standpoint, shouldn't you be asking your teacher? Or did he/she ask you to choose?

Look, there is a myriad of stuff you should learn before Tchaikovsky. From that list, I would say Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, Wieniawski #2, Saint-Saëns #3 and Vieuxtemps #5 would be must learns. You should probably also do at least one Mozart concerto, either #4 or #5. I find that people tend to tackle the big concertos too soon. It is risky. But, that is only my very humble opinion.


May 14, 2006 at 02:23 PM · Well he lets me suggest stuff... but I'm not too familiar with the stuff in between so that's why I'm asking so I can find a recording and see if I like them. I already played Mozart 5 though so thats good.

May 14, 2006 at 02:31 PM · How about the Barber concerto.

May 14, 2006 at 03:35 PM · Hey, Carlos, don't forget Myaskovsky and Hubay. :)

May 14, 2006 at 03:53 PM · I don't. Miaskovsky's is a very romantic and

beautiful work, almost nobody plays, and I believe

not very difficult. About Hubay, well, I'm not a

violinist, but his concertos are hard. The third

is a gem. You have also Lipinski's,Moszkowsky's

Godard's, Arensky's, Taktakishvili's, and several

hundred more to choice. But there's one that

everybody avoid like it is Ebola virus: Greunberg's

May 14, 2006 at 07:18 PM · I'd avoid the Brahms and Glazunov as "in-between" pieces.

May 14, 2006 at 07:20 PM · Is Glazunov really that hard??

May 14, 2006 at 07:22 PM · What's wrong with the Mendelssohn?

You should see this discussion.

May 14, 2006 at 07:19 PM · How about Saint-Saens Intro and Rondo, Ravel's Tzigane, or Sarasate's Zigeunerweison?

A good place to go to check were stuff ranks is:

Some rankings I think are a little off, but it's decent. It also has links for violin solos, and violin and piano...

May 14, 2006 at 07:22 PM · I personally think that unless you can make the Glazunov look like child's play, you shouldn't bother performing it. I definitely don't think it should be learned *before* the Mendelssohn. That's just crazytalk.

May 14, 2006 at 07:23 PM · "What's wrong with the Mendelssohn?"

I like the Mendelssohn. However I used to hate it because I'd heard it butchered by so many students. :) I think that kind of thing is why I still tend to gravitate toward the oddball stuff.

May 14, 2006 at 08:47 PM · Perhaps Wieniawski Concerto No. 2 in D-minor or Vieuxtemps Concertos No. 4 or 5 would work. No. 4 is performed less, at least where I am from than No. 5.

May 14, 2006 at 11:24 PM · Weiniawsky is a good choice

Barber is between the two in difficulty and Beethoven is in between in terms of technical difficulty too just compleated Bruch and you want to do one piece in between and then to Tchaikovsky. It seems a big leap to me.

May 15, 2006 at 12:04 AM · Yeah...seems like a huge leap and a bit silly. Of course I was the exact same way right after I finished Bruch. I was all like, "Can I do Tchaikovsky now pleeeeeeeeze?" (I think I was 13...) I ended up with Mendelssohn. :)

May 15, 2006 at 12:39 AM · After I finished Bruch, I did Wieniawski#2 and now I'm on Mendehlsson(sp?) and I believe that this is a good passage to take. Technically Wieniawski #2 is hard but not THAT hard unlike Brahms, Tchaick, Beethoven as some of you would agree. It was tougher than the Bruch Conc imo.

May 15, 2006 at 12:44 AM · Glazounov is a stupid piece... don't waste time learning it unless a conductor is paying you to play it.

May 15, 2006 at 01:02 AM · close Rafe, Mendelssohn is spelled as I just did. ^_^

May 15, 2006 at 12:59 AM · There is nothing wrong with Mendelssohn... just that I've already done it. Seems weird to do it before Bruch I know but I really liked it... didn't butcher it but it wasn't performance worthy either. And it won't be just one piece between Bruch and Tchaik just one or two concertos. Like right now I'm working on Paganini 24 so pieces like that will definitely help prepare me for Tchaik. Sorry.. I guess my wording suggested Bruch then one piece then Tchaik. (I'm crazy but not that crazy)

May 15, 2006 at 01:05 AM · "Glazounov is a stupid piece... don't waste time learning it unless a conductor is paying you to play it."

Ridiculous statement.

May 15, 2006 at 01:16 AM · ok, so you've worked on Mendelssohn, and it's not performance level, but you've worked through it at least and your teacher approves of your going on to Tchaikovsky soon, it seems. In that case Wieniawski, Lalo, and Vieuxtemps all sound like good things to work on, but they're not in between pieces by any means. You'd be working on Bruch, then working on Wieniawski. Not working on Bruch then Tchaikovsky with Wieniawski jammed in between.

May 15, 2006 at 01:32 AM · hello. b/w the bruch and the tchaikovsky it is kind of universally accepted you should play LAlo followed by weiniawski no. 2 then maybe paganini no.1 then possibly tchaikovsky of course with lots ofetude and scale exercises in between.

May 15, 2006 at 02:05 AM · Pieter, don't be a snob. Some of us hopeless romantics adore the Glazunov. It's no Brahms, but it sure is fun.

May 15, 2006 at 02:06 AM · And why does everyone think that Paganini #1 is one of those "in between" pieces?! That thing is a monster, gave my best friend tendonitis and scared me away after the first page! Can somebody clear this up?!

May 15, 2006 at 03:44 AM · If you are looking for something different, try Busoni Concerto. This is a neglected piece that has good pedagogical appeal as well.

May 15, 2006 at 04:50 AM · I love Busoni's Chaconne transcription.

May 15, 2006 at 04:04 PM · No one has mentioned the Korngold. I'm a concerto listener, not a player, but I'm curious what people here think about this concerto. I was surprised to learn Korngold was scoffed at for sounding "too Hollywood" in his time, but after I learned that, I realized that was precisely why I like this piece of music - it sounds like a lush, gorgeous soundtrack to some epic drama.

Opinions on his concerto?

May 15, 2006 at 04:18 PM · I admire the Korngold concerto and those who can play it, but I can't wrap my pop-seared ears around it.

I guess that I like melodies that I can sing along with, and I couldn't do that with the Korngold. That's probably more me than the concerto, though.

I know the perfect piece: the Jules Conus (Konyus) concerto.

The Arensky concerto is cool too, particularly the 3rd movement that Aaron Rosand plays the heck out of.

May 16, 2006 at 06:28 PM · "I guess that I like melodies that I can sing along with, and I couldn't do that with the Korngold."

Sure you can, Kevin! It goes, "Da da da da daaaa da da da da daaaa da da. Da da da da DAAAAA da da da daaaaaa da da da. Daaaa da DA da daaa, da da DA da daaa,da da da daaaa..."

Okay, maybe not sing. But humming, oh yes - it is SUCH a hummable tune. And thanks to this post, it probably won't leave my head for the rest of the day. Good thing I like it.

May 16, 2006 at 08:13 PM · I love the Korngold!

What about the Sinding Suite?

May 16, 2006 at 10:45 PM · Greetings,

yes, you can sing, ding and sin along with that according to preference.



May 17, 2006 at 12:52 AM · Sinding's kinda interesting. I remember doing that a while ago.

May 18, 2006 at 05:02 PM · "Sinding's kinda interesting. I remember doing that a while ago."

Yup. Nothing beats it, Pieter. Except for skanking, of course. Preferrably under the light of a full moon in the summer. A meadow is best, but an abandoned shopping mall parking lot will do in a pinch.

Sydney - glad to hear someone else loves the Korngold, too! I'm just crazy about it.

May 18, 2006 at 05:57 PM · Jon--

Take a look at the Goldmark Concerto. It's a bit musiclly naive but it's a lovely piece and it's very violinistic.

May 19, 2006 at 01:35 AM · Hi. I guess Glazunov or Vieuxtemps #5 is the right way to Tchaikovski.

May 19, 2006 at 03:17 AM · Try the Kabelevsky Concerto in C Major. Not as hard as the Mozart.

try this link to listen to it:

or how about picking a name of a concerto out of a hat?! =)

May 19, 2006 at 07:45 PM · I can't believe that people here are callous are ignorant enough to FORGET the other concerti of Bruch.

He foresaw stupid people like you, who'd forget that he wrote THREE concerti instead of ONLY one...

Frankly, I don't think the world deserves Bruch. The dumb ignorance allows only his first violin concerto, Scottish Fantasy and Kol Nidre ('cello and piano/orch) to be played. Did you know that he wrote three symphonies? Did you know that he wrote a few miniature pieces for violin solo and orch/piano including a serenade? Did you know that he wrote a double piano concerto? Did you know that he wrote a concerto for viola and clarinet?

Did you ever even listen to something else other than those three over-played and often mutilated pieces, of his?

It physically and emotionally HURTS me, when I see people dismiss Bruch, unless his "fashionable" pieces have been done to death.

Open your mind, open your ears, open your dormant ability to appreciate the great composer that Max Bruch was and his exquisite music. YOU be the one to make those beautiful and more mature concerti popular again...


"Berliozian, a Davidsbundler and a Bruchian"

May 19, 2006 at 07:56 PM · David,

Lay off the meth tough guy. If you did a search, you'd see that Bruch's other concertos have been discussed. In fact, James Ehnes's recordings of the 3 concertos are lying on my desk.

There are many things that you don't know and I won't call you stupid or ignorant for not knowing them.

May 19, 2006 at 07:58 PM · David: "Bruch on, Brother." Although I haven't really heard his entire output (and worked only on the Concerto #1, not too successfully, when I was younger), I love the Concerto #2 and have heard #3 once or twice (but didn't concentrate on it enough to burn it into my memory). Proud to call myself a Bruchie, nonetheless.

Power to the Bruchies.


May 19, 2006 at 07:58 PM · No.

Here in this discussion, where, OH!, no concerto can be found between the Brch g minor and the Tchaikovsky...

A million other concerti can be discussed, yet Bruch is incompitent enough not to write others more mature works?

Yippi! You have the Ehnes set (Unfortunately I never heard it, is it good? He is quite an impressive violinist...), but why not tell a young student, starting out, "hey, you know that Bruch wrote a whole catalogue of violin piecres, you ought to try them out..."

The musical properties of his works far exceed theose of the Goldmark, Korngold and Miyaskovsky. Heck, I can go on how Schumann's concerto was not mentioned; but the idea is, if the guy asks you what to play after Brch's first concerto, you tell him, "his next two concerti!" Not some concerto of another "Tom Dick or Harry"

I do not claim to know a whole lot, but it does not seem like there is reason to just ignore what is right in front of you...

May 19, 2006 at 08:19 PM · Yeah, but take another perspective. Last year I finally finished off Mozart 5 after a lot of really intensive work on it. Was I about to start Mozart 4 immediately after? Heck no! I needed a change of pace and change of style. Even if these other Bruch concerti are the brilliant works you say they are, three Bruchs in a row would be kind of brain-numbing.

May 19, 2006 at 08:44 PM · How about Vieuxtemps no.2 It's really pretty, and challenging.


May 19, 2006 at 08:56 PM · David,

Do you ever hear voices in your head?

May 19, 2006 at 10:43 PM · david is right. the other bruch concerti deserve mention.

i'd also throw in spohr's gesangszene.

May 20, 2006 at 04:28 AM · While I'm not about to applaud David's no-holds-barred-in-the insult-department approach to championing Bruch, I must heartily agree that his music seems underrated here. Am absolutely loving his Serenade for Violin and Orchestra right now. Just exquisite, particularly the third movement. In fact, it's very interesting - the soundtrack to the film October Sky has violin music so similar to this that I can't believe it wasn't this piece in the closing credits. No correlation, as it would happen. Anyway, I've been enjoying Bruch a lot lately, so I second (well... third. Or fourth?) the message that he deserves more credit. But, David? There's a more persuasive way to sell him... ((Have commenced playing of aforementioned recording of third movement to the Serenade as I type. Aaahhh. Impossible to feel pain or contention at this moment. Aaahh...))

May 20, 2006 at 09:51 PM · Hi my english is no so good but i undertand david. Bruch´s music is great. Im crazy for play Bruch Double Concerto (Violin and Viola). Sadly in my country (Venezuela) this music is no available. I can not find in the web. Somebody can help me please. Thanks.

May 21, 2006 at 03:50 AM · At a recital given by Ms. Ida Haendal, she played an encore dedicated to Daniel Pearl. It was a Bruch piece which I believe was the seranade, with the orchestra played by Walter Delahunt on the piano. It was fantastic.

May 21, 2006 at 04:23 AM · "Da da da da daaaa da da da da daaaa da da. Da da da da DAAAAA da da da daaaaaa da da da. Daaaa da DA da daaa, da da DA da daaa,da da da daaaa..."

hahaha I think I actually got that...

this reminds me of my friend and I...we were talking online one time, and I was trying to make her understand which bit I had in my head. If anyone were to see that conversation...

anyway, to Jon...what do you WANT to play?

May 21, 2006 at 02:10 PM · intead of a concerto why one the Bartok rapsodies, they're both really cool and challenging but not impossible (like the sonata).

you could also try Chausson Poeme, or Carmen fantasies, rondo capricioso by Saint-Saens, or why not the Beethoven romances.

violin playing doesn't revolve around concertos!

bye bye

May 21, 2006 at 06:45 PM · Wow, I'm in the same position as you are! ^^ I am thinking of playing Lalo next.

May 22, 2006 at 01:15 AM · if you do a Carmen Fantasy, do Sarasate cause the Waxman is much harder and is not "between Bruch and Tchaikovsky"

May 22, 2006 at 02:10 AM · I disagree. Parts of the Sarasate C.F. are quite tricky, more so than anything in Waxman. The thirds in the last movement, the two arpeggios on the first page, the second to last page of sixteenth notes...

May 22, 2006 at 02:51 AM · Yeah, the Sarasate is pretty hard.

May 22, 2006 at 05:25 AM · Those are both hard Carmen Fantasies. I wouldn't say that either of them would fit between the two aformentioned concertos. However, almost all of the major repertoire is, compartively, about as hard as the others. Some concertos may have lots of notes, some may be un-violinistic, some may be hard on the bow arm, etc. That's why pieces like the Brahms, Beethoven, Sibelius, and Shostakovich can't be called harder than one of the others. They're all too hard for me to imagine playing right now!

The best advice is to go with what your teacher things. I agree that Lalo (which is such a fun piece to learn), Vieuxtemps 5, Wieniawski No. 2, and Scottish Fantasy are all very good choices. They're what my teacher and a lot of others call "building" concertos. They are wonderful pieces of music and are simply beautiful when played well with orchestra but they also serve as building blocks to higher level concertos. Then, most likely, comes the Tchaikovsky. And with that rite of passage comes the rest of the great repertoire out there.

May 22, 2006 at 05:53 AM · You know what? You two, Mr. Viljoen and Mr. Mertes: I apoligize completely. I mulled over my words through the weekend, and although I stand firmly by my message, it was uncouth for me to be insulting...especialy to my elders.

However, I think I got my message through; a message I'm very passionate about (apparently) and one which is almost as important to me as the discussion about the Oprah/Bell meeting.

You see, I know quite some more of Bruch's music than the regular public knows, and I really truly hurts to see him neglected; to seem like I'm the only one who knows a bit more than his three popular pieces. It hurts even more, after seeing the reference to the famous letter he wrote to Breitkopf & Hartel, bemoaning the public's nonchallance to his other music, everywhere. HE knew that people were not acknowledging his other music in lieu of a couple of flashy earlier works.

He really was that great! He really was that first-rate! If only we open our minds and ears... Some of us subscribers here on are conductors; why not program some of his orchestral music next season? (I particularly recomend his third Symphony for starters.) It would really put a new flavor to the experience in lieu of the over-played Beethoven Fifth...

Most prominent musicologists ponder about who was the first ethnomusicologist. The answer usually remains, "Bartok." Whilst he was indeed a very strong early influence in ethnic studies in music, I maintain that Bruch was yet earlier an ethnomusicologist...

Aside for the Scottish Fantacy that we are all very familiar with, he wrote music based on Swedish themes, Russian themes (the dilightful Second Suite), English Themes, Irish Themes, other Scandinavian themes, and of course Kol Nidrei on Jewish/Hebraic themes.

Aside for his compositions, there are extensive writings and transcribed monologues about and of him, that really shed light at the genius and necessity of this great person. He was a true (actually quasi-original) Davidsbundler...

He wrote also a few operas... Has anybody heard them? We need to start listening to his music!

Again, I apoligize for the harsh way I expressed myself on Friday; but I feel very strongly about such masters who seem to be overlooked when we really should be celebrating them...

With great reverence to you all,


"A Berliozian and Davidsbundler"

May 22, 2006 at 01:39 PM · Yeah, but did Bruch actually collect, catalogue and categorize authentic folk songs like Bartok and Kodaly did? I know he wrote a lot of stuff on popular folk themes and "in the style of...", but lots of composers did that. He is no competition to Bartok IMHO.

May 22, 2006 at 04:46 PM · No. As far as I know at the moment, there is no "catalogue" that Brch created.

But that is my point, Bartok and Kodaly WERE the first ethnomusicologists that worked at a task of collecting and documenting; Bruch simply was using the various ethnic materials he had collected, and arranged/composed them into new works.

I think he kept from collecting and cataloguing raw material because society didn't call far it; Bartok, on the contrary, saw the downfall of a few ethnicities in music, and toiled to revive and maintain them.

May 22, 2006 at 06:38 PM · David,

I think you mean =Mrs.= Mertes. Not Mr. Mertes.

May 23, 2006 at 08:07 AM · Yup. Or Ms. But Terez is the safest bet, anyway. (Stephen, you smart guy, you. I have you to thank for exposing the Toni/Lewis connection long before Lewis admitted it.) Anyway, thanks for the apology, David - it's to your credit that you offered it. And hey, you've convinced me of Bruch's merit. That and the 2 CDs of his music I listen to lots.

May 23, 2006 at 09:35 PM · Actually, Lewis mentioned it before, just on a different thread. I didn't deduce it.

May 23, 2006 at 09:38 PM · I didn't say that the Sarasate wasn't hard, I just said that the Waxman was harder, which i still stand by because there are more difficult arpegios littered througout the piece, lots more difficult thirds because they are a lot (for lack of a better phrase)less melodic, therefore harder to play in tune (harder to know what's the right pitch), more chords in general, fingered octave runs, tenths etc. The last 2 pages of 16th notes in the Waxman are much more difficult than the 2nd to last page in the Sarasate, if you'd look.

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