How difficult are these pieces?
Hi. This is a merely orientative question, as a beginner. I'm playing now Kuchler "Vivaldi" concertino, and probably, my next piece will be Vivaldi concerto in A minor.
Which is the approximate level of the following pieces/sets of pieces? Which ones should I be aiming to play first?
1. Biber Rosary Sonatas (I love them, specially number 4 and passacaglia!)
2. Mozart sonatas in general (which ones are easier?).
3. Bach's solo violin works, like partitas (I know these ones are difficult).
4. Telemann violin solo Sinfonias.
5. Vivaldi works in general, other than the A minor concerto (again, which ones are easier and which ones are more difficult?).
As I said, I just want to orient myself with my current level in relation to the cited pieces, to know which of them can I reach with some work, which of them can I reach with more work and which of them are unreachable at the moment (but can be reached with a huge amount of work!).
Of course, I accept repertoire suggestions in my current level... and in a slightly higher level.
Bach is hardest. I think Biber is probably difficult, and have some in my file cabinet somewhere. But I'd have to get up from my chair and carry my coffee to find out. A move fraught with danger.
Scott, I agree about the Suzuki version of the Vivaldi. I think Suzuki picked up the edition by Nachez. Anyway, when my teacher started me on the Vivaldi Amin some years ago we both agreed that the bowings (and not only that) in the Suzuki were, shall we say, inappropriate, at least for the period, and it would be better to learn from an Urtext, which I downloaded from IMSLP.
Intending no disrespect, I find questions like this one difficult to fathom. The difficulty of a piece of music is relative to the seeker's level of ability.
Thank you everyone for answering.
If you have a good teacher you'll find they're fixing / editing a lot of bowings in all the editions you buy, not just Suzuki editions. I once asked my teacher which edition I should buy of a new piece, and he said, "It doesn't matter because we're going to change everything anyway." I try to work out the bowings first, of course, and I'm getting better at it!
Here are my severely-tarnished two cents. I'd go straight to the Bach solo literature. You seem hungry for it, and that is the single most important component to getting good at...anything... There are movements, and even parts of monster movements like the Chaconne (when it goes back into Dm, for ex), where it isn't that hard. And, I'm sorry folks, but Biber and Telemann are utility-grade composers compared to Bach. There ARE shortcuts--just play it and see what you can do. No one can stop you. Play the Allemande from the Second Partita. You can play that. I do have advanced degrees in music, but am a fiddler and just dove into the Bach four years ago. Absolutely worth it. And Corelli, Geminiani, Biber... they simply are not as engaging as a single line of Bach.
Thank you Paul Deck and Paul Smith.
Well, that's why the transcribed Cello Suites provide a good starting point because they're much easier (especially No. 1 through No. 4 which are the ones most commonly played). Not as much super-fast stuff and hardly any double stops.
If Szigeti and Paul Deck suggested it, I'm sure it is a great idea. I'll definitely have a look at them. Thank you!
By the way, about Mozart. If you look at sonata K304 you might say, "What? This looks easy." But the problem with Mozart is that the demands for subtlety and control in your bowing are very high. To get that you have to first study a lot of music that
Thank you again for your insight, Paul. I know Mozart tends to be way more difficult than what it seems at a first glance. I play the piano at a level in which I can tackle almost any of his sonatas, and reading through them is not difficult, but playing them perfectly is an extremely demanding task. Everything must be crystal clear, and there's no place where you can "hide". But once you can play them at an acceptable level, even if not perfectly every time you try, they are one of the most rewarding things you can do with a piano. I hope they are the same on a violin, and that I can enjoy them in a future.
The Purcell G minor Sonata remains one of my favourite works - I would never call it utility music. Note wise, it's about Grade V (I played the 2nd movement for Grade V, and I don't think the last movement is more difficult). I fell in love with the 3rd movement long ago, and have never been disillusioned. I'm not claiming, however, that Purcell is quite as great as Bach or, on average, Handel.
Miguel, I agree with you about the Mozart Sonatas. For the pianist, much the same can be said about Haydn and Scarlatti. I play the piano too, and in my earlier years I could play most of that stuff, although not perfectly. I guess on balance I would agree that the demands for the violinist and pianist are comparable as far as Mozart Sonatas are concerned (here I am talking not only about the Mozart Piano Sonatas but also the Piano parts of the Violin Sonatas).
I haven't played them all but many Mozart violin sonatas are more difficult to play well than the G major concerto (potentially excluding whatever cadence you use).
I would suggest you look at the D-minor partita minus the Chaconne - start with the Allemande. :)
"Meanwhile I strongly recommend Valerie Arsenault's edition of the Bach Cello Suites transcribed for violin."
imslp.org has a very good, free transcription of the Bach Cello Suites for violin: http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/d/d7/IMSLP121690-WIMA.e315-vl100712.pdf. I agree with most of what has already been said and won't repeat all the good advice. My particular $0.02 here is that the Mozart sonatas are wonderful but can be difficult to play really well. Deceptively simple seeming. Start with K.304 and see how it works for you.
Thank you very much, Tom. I’ll start with the k. 304 when I feel more confident with my playing.
Sue, you can order it from www.beethovenandcompany.com, which is a music store in Tallahasee. Just type "Arsenault" into the search box. Believe me, her edition is way better than anything you can print off of IMSLP. Best $20 you ever spent.
As to Vivaldi: I'd recommend his sonatas op. 2 rather than a concerto. They are approximately of the same difficulty as the a-minor concerto. But at least half of the 12 sonatas (IMO the sonatas in A, d, f, b, c, e, a, this last one a bit harder than the others) are masterpieces whereas the a-minor concerto was not composed in Vivaldi's finest hour. The second movement is very good but it does not seem to be taught to students (and to sound correctly it needs the orchestra: violins and violas only, no bass, no harpsichord.
Thank you so much, Paul! I did get beethovenandcompany as I result whenever I searched for the book, but I kept getting this link where I could not see how to add it to a shopping cart: http://www.beethovenandcompany.com/product_brochure.php?products_id=85295
ALL these are difficult to play properly.Schindler's List is one om my party pieces - but just listen to the first two notes played by Perlman and give up. I'll NEVER match that sound.
Sue maybe you could just call them on the phone.
I ordered it. They might be surprised what triggered the sudden European interest :-)
Eva, they probably just figure y'all are getting ahead of the next likely tariff.
For all of the Sonatas, after the baroque era, be sure that you have an enthusiastic pianist, that actually wants to do this genre. The piano parts are busier, and frequently more difficult, than the violin parts. That is especially true for the Mozart sonatas. For the famous set of Bach Unacccompanied S.& P, I see three levels of difficulty: the single note movements, the double-stop movements, and then the very difficult Fugues and Chaconne. The Telemann Fantasias are a good preparation for the Bach. Vivaldi solos have a wide range of difficulty; many were probably played by Vivaldi himself, while others, the 2-violin concertos, may have been intended for his students at the Venice orphanage school.
Andrew in one of the first replies: "It has always seemed to me that I could tell the difficulty of a piece of music (for me) by looking at the "score.""
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