Difficulty of de Sarasate's pieces

January 21, 2018, 6:21 AM · Just like the title, I really like Sarasate's pieces. They're short and impressive. But I don't know which one to start with.

Replies (13)

Edited: January 21, 2018, 7:37 AM · Start with "Souvenir de Sarasate" which is not by Sarasate. It's by William Potstock. Seriously, all Sarasate is too hard for me and I wouldn't know where to begin. In a way I am fortunate that I don't like his music anyway.
Edited: January 21, 2018, 7:33 AM · What Sarasate piece first?
Recommends no Sarasate piece. HAHAHAHA.
January 21, 2018, 9:10 AM · The difficulty level varies widely. Zapateado and the Introduction & Tarantella are common introductions, and Zigeunerweisen, around the Bruch concerto level. But these aren't the easiest of his works.
January 21, 2018, 10:08 AM · Malagueña, but without an ample technical command, the "easier" ones won't sound as convincing (to be fair, this applies to most "easier" works as well.) The difficulty is in injecting his Spanish works with his very flair. Romanza Andaluza is another "easy" one (for reference, the Franko cadenza is much "easier".)

He also has some lesser known transcriptions that are very nice, and many "popular" works (are the Lalo SE and Saint-Saëns 3rd even performed anymore?) were dedicated to him.

Generally, he sounds impressive, effective, and/or difficult, while most of his works laying "easy" on the fingers-at least relative to other virtuoso violinist composers. They also tend to have more appeal/immediacy to many listeners, due to his "Spanish" style (can almost guarantee the usual recital audience will like his encore works over a Paganini Caprice or The Last Rose of Summer-even if I like mostly anything.)

January 21, 2018, 10:32 AM · Sarasate's music is amazing. What repertoire are you currently working on? What does your teacher think?
January 21, 2018, 11:15 AM · Thank you for your answers.

I'll try to go with romanza andaluza or zapateado.

Oh and Franko cadenza wasn't so hard when I practiced it bit by bit. It's getting there. I was just afraid from all the double stops but they seem convenient.

It's just that my teacher told to learn a show piece (Sarasate or Wieniawski) with the Mozart violin concerto.

I really like Wieniawski's variations on an original theme but it's a bit intimidating.

Any suggestions?

Edited: January 21, 2018, 11:41 AM · I LOVE Wieniawski's Variations-they are challenging (even if in a good way) though, so I would recommend something less daunting.

Romanza Andaluza is good for that. Zapateado is a step up from it. Consider Jota Navarra if you want something between Zapateado and Romanza Andaluza.

Wieniawski Op. 4 is another option, but it's not the easiest, even if short. Not Legende. Op. 21 is "easier" than Op. 4, but longer-very beautiful, and a showpiece as well-Scherzo-Tarantelle is another you may consider between those.

January 21, 2018, 7:48 PM · Isn't Jota Navarra for two violins?
January 21, 2018, 9:21 PM · Have a look at Sarasate's Ballade (op.31). It is one of his most beautiful pieces and I do not think that it is as finger-knotting as many of his others.

http://imslp.org/wiki/Ballade,_Op.31_(Sarasate,_Pablo_de)

January 21, 2018, 9:58 PM · No. You're thinking of the Navarra, which is different from the Jota Navarra.
January 21, 2018, 10:16 PM · Malaguena and Romanza Andaluza were my first two Sarasate pieces. I teach Romanza Andaluza fairly often. It has a lot of double stops but they lie well.
January 22, 2018, 7:06 PM · The first Sarasate showpiece I learned was Caprice Basque. Lies well in the hand and checks a lot of the usual Sarasate boxes: left-hand pizz, left-hand pizz while bowing, double-stops, arpeggios and scales, etc. Perhaps worth a look if your teacher agrees.
I see Navarra is also mentioned. If you have a violinist friend also looking to learn a Sarasate showpiece, it is a lot of fun to learn and perform (and not fiendishly difficult despite how it sounds). ;-)
January 23, 2018, 12:30 PM · Carlos, thanks for posting that video: I had never heard that particular piece before, and it's really lovely.

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