Violin/Piano Repertoire Suggestions, Please

April 16, 2018, 3:25 PM · I'm hoping the community can help with some repertoire suggestions. I'm interested in combined violin/piano pieces, ones where the piano is more of a duet partner than just an accompanist. (I'm interested in learning both parts myself.)

A little about me:

Since returning to the violin 1.5 years ago, I've mostly worked on the solo Bach. I've learned about 10 movements so far, the most difficult being the G minor fugue and the Chaconne (which I'm working on currently).

I also returned to the piano recently. I'm less advanced on the piano. I'm currently working on the Bach Inventions, and I've played the Goldberg Aria and one movement from the French Suites. (As you may have guessed by now, I'm crazy about Bach!)

Some possibilities I've been considering: the Beethoven Spring sonata (which I played on the violin as a kid) and the Bach violin/harpsicord sonatas.

My exposure to the broader repertoire has been limited, so I'm interested in your suggestions.

Replies (10)

April 16, 2018, 3:53 PM · Basically, anything that is a full-fledged sonata, especially the Romantic-era sonatas and later. However, the more the pianist is an equal partner, the more difficult the piano parts get. So Beethoven might be a reasonable compromise in difficulty levels.
Edited: April 16, 2018, 3:59 PM · Lydia, are there any, in addition to the Spring sonata, that you find especially beautiful and/or popular?
April 16, 2018, 3:59 PM · Beethoven piano parts are harder than Bach inventions. I learned the piano part to the Spring sonata, but some of the other sonatas are well beyond my powers. (I had ten years of piano lessons and the most difficult pieces I was learning at the end of that time were Soiree dans Grenada, and the Harp etude by Chopin. I had played the Two-Part Inventions as a child.)

Being less advanced on the piano is going to be significantly more limiting for you than if you were stronger on piano, less advanced on violin.

Schubert Sonatinas would be comfortable for you on piano and not challenging on violin.

April 16, 2018, 4:06 PM · Mary Ellen, I'm sure you're right, though as an adult amateur, I at least have time on my side. I wouldn't mind spending a couple of months just to learn one movement if it were a piece I loved.
April 16, 2018, 6:40 PM · The Schubert Sonatinas (that Mary Ellen suggested) are wonderful. The Handel sonatas, the Mozart sonatas, of course the Beethovens (that Jason already mentioned, Brahms ---almost every well-known composer has written sonatas for violin and piano. Check that combo at for scores.

And once you have found a really good pianist to play with - find a good cellist and with the many piano trios available you will be set for life.

April 16, 2018, 7:38 PM · Are you planning to accompany yourself? I mean record the piano part and superimpose the violin?
April 16, 2018, 7:56 PM · Jason, there's so much great music in the Beethoven sonatas. You should listen to the whole set. I think Spring and Kreutzer are probably the most popular, but listen to the second movement of #6. Nothing better than that.
Edited: April 16, 2018, 11:14 PM · Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions!

I was unaware of the Schubert sonatinas, so I'll be sure to check those out. I'll also delve more deeply into the Beethoven, particularly the movement Gabriel mentioned.

Elise, I think Grumiaux did something like that, didn't he?

Andrew, I'm trying to cultivate a good cellist (my 9 year-old), but it will be a few years before he's ready for any of these works.

April 20, 2018, 11:21 AM · I tried that approach - breading chamber music partners. Just be prepared for football, cheer leading or nail polish to be more interesting to them than playing with dad.....
April 28, 2018, 9:01 AM · Valse Triste by vecsey is a cool romance/piece for violin and piano:)

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