2 violin duos

August 19, 2018, 12:33 AM · Hello. This question has probably been been asked many times before, but does anyone have any suggestions for 2 violin duos? Preferably something original, i.e. not an arrangement?

Thanks in advance!

Replies (23)

August 19, 2018, 4:41 AM · The best I've encountered are probably the Bartok 44 duos.
According to Hans Keller there are masterpieces by Spohr. Mazas and Rawsthorne, although he doesn't say which ones specifically. The Rawsthorne should not be too hard to find a there are probably not many. Identifying the Spohr and Mazas may be a bigger challenge but there is certainly some very enjoyable music in Spohr's duos.
There are also works by De Beriot, but the only one I've heard was definitely more interesting for the players than for the audience! Depends what you are looking for.
If one of the violinists can play viola that opens the way for the two Mozart duos, which IMO are in a different league.
August 19, 2018, 4:57 AM · Well it would be probably be me and my teacher, and we both play both. We've talked about doing the Mozart duos before, but not done yet
August 19, 2018, 7:40 AM · The duos by L'Eclair are OK. Depending on ability level, the Wianiawski etude-caprices are fun if you like that sort of thing. It's quite easy to do a home brew duet with Paganini caprice 24: one of you plays the theme and the other plays their favourite variation on top.

Also, I second the Bartok suggestion.

August 19, 2018, 7:46 AM · Are the Bartok duos progressive in difficulty? I think I read that about them somewhere
August 19, 2018, 7:58 AM · Yes, it's been a while since I did any of them, but iirc they are split across four progressive volumes and start of very easy.
August 19, 2018, 9:31 AM · The Bartok duos are in two volumes and yes, they are progressive.

I also like the Telemann Canonic Duos but you both have to be solidly good counters to make those work.

Go to IMSLP and do a search on "two violins;" lots of stuff there.

August 19, 2018, 12:25 PM · Viotti opus 20 is really nice but it depends what you need the duos for, if you just want some fun playing together these are easy and fun.

If you want challenge you could try Spohr opus 67, three duo's where the violin parts are quite ambitious, but again really nice music, albeit very classical in style.

Edited: August 19, 2018, 12:43 PM · Viotti: https://youtu.be/LC1Ea20jiu0

There are arrangements of Mozart's piano sonatas as duos that are fun, but all in all arrangements in the end. I played one of them, the a minor sonata, eons ago.

(Forgot that Haydn has some as well, maybe originally for two violins.)

There are many, just not "standard" literature, save for perhaps the aforementioned Bartok's 44 (and even those are hardly ever played in recital.) For fun, Viotti and Spohr seem very nice, Spohr being a bit more advanced (Wieniawski's Op. 18 are basically advanced "├ętude" works with "teacher" accompaniment.)

2 violins and piano gets some nice entries like the Moszkowski Suite, full of beauty and charm, and Sarasate's (hopefully) well-known Navarra.

(Also Dancla, Mazas, etc.)

August 19, 2018, 4:41 PM · Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier has been arranged for 2 violins. I've seen it, but I don't have it.
Edited: August 23, 2018, 12:57 PM · I once bought several volumes of Spohr duos* and I can confirm: They are indeed very good, all of them. They are also very hard, double stops in abundance and not always easy ones (actually mostly not easy ones).

With Mazas duos I was never happy; they seem a bit simple. One fiddle plays the melody, the other some simple accompaniment, then the roles reverse for which purpose the sections are often literally repeated. He has more technically demanding ones but I never played one of those.

Bartok's 44 on the other hand are great. Even the first few very easy ones are interesting (especially the harmonies that occur). There is a very good recording around with the two violinists from the Vegh quartet.

*In an abundance of enthusiasm. I can't really play them let alone find a partner...

August 19, 2018, 6:45 PM · If you are going to go with Bartok, make sure you and your partner really truly love Bartok. I enjoy his music in small doses but beyond that, they drive me nuts.
August 19, 2018, 6:57 PM · Here are links to two pages of sheet music (my Op. 11 violin duet).



Also, I recently played the first movement of Omar Daniel's violin duo Giuoco della Coppie which I thought was wonderful.

August 19, 2018, 8:13 PM · My favorite--the Bach double. :-)
August 19, 2018, 9:42 PM · I have played one of the canonic sonatas with a flautist friend of mine for fun
August 20, 2018, 1:28 AM · Kind of depends on your playing level, doesn't it?
August 20, 2018, 2:00 AM · Bruce Dukov's virtuosic duets are awesome!


August 20, 2018, 4:58 AM · It will be too easy for you, but if you haven't played it before, this table music (apparently falsely) attributed to mozart is a clever palindrome - place it between you on the table and one person plays it upright, the other upside down. Not at all difficult but a cool thing for someone to have composed... (yes, i know this kind of thing hsppens in baroque canons but I somehow retained my original fascination with the idea of reading it upside down)


Also a vote for the bartok, which is on imslp.

August 22, 2018, 10:14 PM · Prokofiev?
August 22, 2018, 10:38 PM · For medium difficulty, I love the LeClaire duos and Bacewicz.
August 22, 2018, 11:46 PM · I could write something for you! :-)


August 23, 2018, 12:03 AM · Amy, that could be interesting...
August 23, 2018, 12:27 AM · Shostakovich, 5 Pieces for 2 violins and piano,

Vivaldi, Concerti for 2 violins a minor and d minor

August 23, 2018, 1:01 AM · I have editions of Shostakovixh (even though mine is 3 pieces) and of Vivaldi double A minor

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