Show-off piece

May 24, 2006 at 11:13 PM · I am having trouble deciding on a show-off piece to play at our high school concert. Which is your favorite out of La Rounde des Lutins, Original Theme w/ Variations, or Hora Staccato?

(Is Bazzini really that hard if your left hand pizz is solid?)

Replies (25)

May 24, 2006 at 11:47 PM · Greetings,

La Original Hora is a curiosly Freudian blend of the three.

If you can play these why don`t yu do `polonaise in A` ? Or explore some of the Heifetz encores. A really good one of about the same level is Mozkowski`s Gitarre.



May 25, 2006 at 12:00 AM · My favourite is the Variations. I've always loved it, though it's pretty challenging!

May 25, 2006 at 03:09 AM · I love all of them. Unfortunately my bow arm is less than brilliant so I can't pull off the Lutins (too much ricochet) or the Hora (stacatto.) Maybe next year.

The best show-off piece, IMHO, is Nel Cor Piu Non Mi Sento by Paganini. Seems to me once you can play that you can play anything.

Another good pick is Wieniawski Scherzo-Tarantella--tricky enough to be a challenge, but sounds harder than it actually is!

May 25, 2006 at 06:05 AM · jon, the Bazzini isn't that hard because of the left hand pizz.

Personally, I think that the hardest thing about "Le Ronde De Lutins" is the double harmonics in the middle.

I do what other people do by cutting the piece up in order to keep it flowing well. It seems that a lot of people gladly make those cuts, and I concur.

"Nel Cor Piu Non Mi Sento" is a great show off piece, but I wish it weren't so long. Classical audiences don't mind its length, but pop audiences might get bored by the middle of the song. It's my opinion that the standard pop audience has about 2-6 minutes of attention span available per song.

If I were doing a concert, I'd use Hora Staccato just because it's not a piece that many people can do.

Jascha Heifetz's edition is really fabulous, but it's not the one I use. I learned my Hora Staccato off Dinicu's original recording. Dinicu's version does not have Heifetz's modulation to the key of Ab in the middle. Heifetz's Hora Staccato is a "concert work" to me, Dinicu's is a gypsy fiddle song. It's just a matter of taste, but I go with Dinicu for my Hora Staccato since I'm into the ethnic fiddle thing.

May 26, 2006 at 05:11 AM · Dinicu's version played by him (Dinicu)version is a total delight; I find it far more exciting than the Heifetz.

May 26, 2006 at 06:00 AM · There's only one beef I have with the Dinicu Hora Staccato as it exists on "The Recorded Violin": Why is it speeded up to the point where the A is nearly a Bb?

Dinicu's playing is totally charming, but that staccato that he does is a little too easy sounding at that propped up speed. The tone is overly soprano and the vibrato flutters by inhumanly. If you slow down this recording, you hear something that sounds a lot more like a real violinist.

Now Michael Rabin's "Hora Staccato" that he did with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra as part of his former "In Memoriam" album? That's done at concert tuning in real time and exceeds the speed Dinicu's artifically accelerated rendion!

May 26, 2006 at 01:37 PM · That Michael Rabin recording is insane!!! Anybody have any idea how he produced such an insanely fast staccato??

I have a theory that he tuned his A down to a G and then they sped it up :P

May 26, 2006 at 01:51 PM · There is also a great recording of Oscar Shumsky playing Hora Staccato...I second the Wieniawski Variations piece - there are some great moments in that piece besides being freakin' hard!

May 26, 2006 at 06:24 PM · ...The best Hora Staccato I have heard was recorded by Ginette Neveu...I have Rabin's and Heifetz's versions, but Neveu's is more sensuous and is a pure delight to much more than the down and up bow staccato features, in her hands,Hora Staccato becomes a real musical "performance" !


May 26, 2006 at 08:40 PM · I guess I'll put in the only vote here for Dance of the Goblins... I love that piece!

May 26, 2006 at 10:13 PM · I love it too, but the double false harmonics part is pretty tricky

May 27, 2006 at 03:54 AM · The tone is overly soprano?

this was played by the composer exactly how it should be. anyone who doesn't sound "overly soprano" must be playing it wrong.

May 27, 2006 at 03:57 AM · haha, great point Jordan! Although this higher pitch was most likely the fault of the engineer in mastering.

June 4, 2006 at 04:35 AM · The Bazzini piece you mention was appropriately enough dedicated to H.W. Ernst...indeed the greatest bugaboo for your typical violinist in this piece is use of double stop artificial harmonics. The left hand pizz in this piece (by 19th century standards) is basic. Great piece and a great encore for your typical audience.

My favorite of the bunch is the op.15 Wieniawski, it's like a de Beriot Air Varie on speed. Great variations, great showpiece.

June 4, 2006 at 02:28 PM · As far as I know, Neveu was the only one to record

a short piece called Bagatelle,by an unknown

romanian Ioan SCARLATESCU. It's one of the most

beautiful pieces I ever heard, and the version is

simply extraordinary, IMO one of the best Neveu's

recordings ever.

June 4, 2006 at 09:46 PM · Paganini thought that the most effective audience-pleasing show-off piece he ever wrote was Witch's Dance. I think it's still the model for the genre.

June 5, 2006 at 06:57 PM · Carlos, you are right about the Scarlatescu...the piece is even better than Hora Staccato (musically speaking) and Neveu is oustanding...


June 8, 2006 at 12:54 AM · Hora Staccato may be a lot shorter and musically simpler than the other pieces, but it never fails to impress. Funny thing is, it's not nearly as easy as it seems. Not so much the downbow staccato as it is the the l. and r. hand coordination on the 2 last pages.

June 8, 2006 at 11:41 AM · An absolute beautiful piece nobody ever plays, is

IMO Sarasate's "Serenata Andaluza" op.26. Only

recording I know is Ricci-Smith (fantastic!!) It's

one of the most lovely Sarasate's and very efective

technically.Not easy at all.

June 8, 2006 at 01:40 PM · Not that it matters, but you are thinking of the op.28, not the op.26. The original poster has given a simple list of three pieces for us to advise on, let's knock it off with all the weird suggestions for "show off" pieces. I'm sure we could all come up with a sizable list.

June 8, 2006 at 02:59 PM · Yes, it's op.28. My LP had the number wrong.

July 7, 2006 at 09:25 AM · The hardest part of the Goblins imo is rather the double harmonics and the tenths preceding them.

I like the Wieniawski better, mainly because it is more romantic and expressive (elements of his concerti are in it).

How about Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Largo Al Factotum? Or Carnival of Venice?

July 8, 2006 at 05:18 AM · These pieces are cool, but modern audiences usually don't recognize them.

Hit them with Rimsky Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" and they go nuts.

July 11, 2006 at 07:49 PM · If you really want to impress anyone, play an unaccompanied Bach partita or sonata perfectly. Then I think anyone will be impressed...

Daniel H

July 12, 2006 at 08:48 AM · Agree with you, a BACH Sonata would impress.

I love playing some Caprices of PAGANINI or WIENIAWSKI too.

Or 1t movment of 2nd Sonata (Obsession) YSAYE.

Among the listed, I woudl play BAZZINI La ronde des lutins.

And why not The Bee SCHUBERT ?



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