Korngold vs Bruch

Edited: January 1, 2019, 12:59 PM · Hello,
So after finishing Lalo symphony, my teacher recommended that I learn either the Bruch or the Mendelssohn violin concerto. I was wondering if it’d be appropriate to propose the Korngold violin concerto instead. I think it’s rather unappreciated within the realm of violin concertos and I enjoyed listening to Perlmans interpretation of the piece.

Replies (13)

January 1, 2019, 1:05 PM · you should wait on korngold. there's a video on youtube where you can see the sheet music and it's pretty clearly above the bruch and mendelssohn level (I would put it above sibelius, too).
January 1, 2019, 2:39 PM · Korngold is a lot harder. There are a lot of long distance shifts, and minor 9ths. The Heifetz recording is amazing.
Edited: January 1, 2019, 2:48 PM · Mendelssohn is harder than Bruch, and Korngold is a lot harder than either.

Mendelssohn is enough harder than Bruch that I have to wonder at giving a student the choice between the two. They're not equivalent. Lalo and Bruch are much closer in difficulty.

If you want to propose something slightly off the beaten track, Barber (the first two movements) or Conus might be acceptable substitutes. But Korngold is beyond you at this point.

January 1, 2019, 3:03 PM · It's a very lovely piece but I suggest leaving it until after you've done Bruch and Mendelssohn. I've never played the solo part but it looks more challenging technically than the Bruch. Plus the melodic writing, the interplay with the orchestra and the overall interpretation is more subtle - much of it is quite sonata-esque.
Edited: January 1, 2019, 5:02 PM · Korngold is too hard for you at the moment. Listen to your teacher.

If you want to get to Korngold faster, choose Mendelssohn. (If your teacher only wants you to play one of them)

January 1, 2019, 5:46 PM · The YouTube link that Ana and Joel referred to for the Heifetz performance with the piano reduction on screen as he plays is,

Am I correct in saying that the Korngold sheet music is available only on (expensive) hire? Or is that only for the orchestral parts and score? Perhaps the solo part with piano reduction is more readily available.

I'll just add that the Korngold is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful violin concertos in the 20th century repertoire.

January 1, 2019, 5:57 PM · Did you do 5th movement of Lalo or just the easier movements? If you can play 5th mvmt of Lalo well, the stretch is not as far away to Korngold. But you should definitely play both Bruch and Mendelssohn first. Bruch 1st mvmt and Mendelssohn 3rd mvmt are relatively easy; Bruch 3rd and Mendelssohn 1st are harder.
January 2, 2019, 7:49 AM · I have played the first and fourth movements of the Lalo. It seems the general consensus is to move onto the Bruch, so that is what I will be doing. Thank you all for your responses .
January 2, 2019, 8:31 AM · Isn't Bruch normally done before Lalo though?
January 2, 2019, 8:39 AM · Sheet music for violin + piano is readily available (you'll have to buy it, it's still under copyright). It's significantly more difficult than Bruch et.al.

Bruch is often done before Lalo but there's no strict sequencing.

January 2, 2019, 8:53 PM · Love love love the Korngold! But it is superhard... A slightly easier concerto, also written for Heifetz, and showcasing the art of shifting is the Walton. I've done both!
Edited: January 2, 2019, 9:17 PM · Elmar Oliveira said to me that the Korngold Concerto requires the violinist to "have a technique like Paganini and to be able to sing on the violin like Caruso. With Heifetz, Korngold got both."

Getting back to your original question, Adam, do what your teacher says. Your teacher knows your playing better than any of us do. I think it would be presumptuous of me to recommend repertoire to someone I've never heard.

January 2, 2019, 10:21 PM · If your teacher has given you this choice, choose Bruch. If it turns out to be easy for you and you knock it off in a few weeks, well then you've got another repertoire piece that will inevitably be useful when you are touring Europe.

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