What to do after Bach's double?

June 14, 2019, 5:23 PM · Hi, I wanted to know what kind of pieces you guys recommend after doing Bach's double (first movement). Pieces that are at the same level or in the next one, may be something from Mozart or Haydn, as I've never played any piece composed by them (well, just like Beethoven and an infinite list of others). What comes to your mind?

Replies (14)

June 14, 2019, 6:19 PM · Seitz violin concertos I think are good goals
June 14, 2019, 10:54 PM · Vivaldi g minor comes after the Bach Double 2nd violin part in the Suzuki books and it's a great piece to learn although I don't think it's any harder than the Bach part. After that, Bach a minor.
June 15, 2019, 8:44 AM · Actually, should the question not be: "What to do BEFORE the Bach double?" This is after all one of the eternal high points of the repertoire. Being able to technically play it does not cut it for such a piece.

I have met someone who thought the Bach double concerto was not in fact a very exciting work. She had "learned" it as a kid and apparently remembered it as mediocre as she presumably played it at the time. Aren't violin teachers supposed to take this into consideration?

June 15, 2019, 9:06 AM · I remember the Bach Double as one of the big highlights of my childhood playing. I was so excited to be able to get to do it, having seen it played a lot in my Suzuki program.
June 15, 2019, 9:13 AM · Albrecht, what's your point?
Are you trying to say the obvious, which is we are always improving?

I know Bach's double is an amazing piece, and that my current interpretation is ages away from what I would consider a very good performance, but one has to go on and advance. Just like a kid that learns to play Vivaldi's A minor at 10 years old, it will be galaxies away from how the pros play it, nevertheless that fact didn't and won't stop kids from learning, or if you want, "learning" it.

I just want to get familiar and even discover pieces recommended by other violinists here with a vast experience. I've been told to go on with Seitz, it's great that's been recommended.

June 15, 2019, 11:09 AM · That is the end of the road. After Bach double, you donate your violin, shave your head and go to a monastery for the rest of your life.
Edited: June 15, 2019, 11:24 AM · Paul, there are some frequent contributors whose posts to these discussion are usually interesting but often tangential if not entirely orthogonal to what the OP is hoping to learn. So it goes.

If you want to know what to do after any certain piece, check the repertoires of the various graded method books like Suzuki, the RCM list, Barbara Barber's "Solos for Young Violinists" and Sassmannshaus to see what comes next. That's quite possibly how Mary Ellen arrived at "Vivaldi G Minor" as her answer to your query (and I agree with that suggestion). After that you could do a couple of Handel Sonatas, "Souvenir de Sarasate," the Bach A Minor Concerto, and the Haydn G Major Concerto. Don't forget to include some slow lyrical pieces like Ave Maria and Meditation. If you have not gone all the way through Kayser then you should. After that you can get the Mazas Etudes Speciales Op. 36.

June 15, 2019, 1:32 PM · Rocky, thanks for the laugh, that was really funny!

Well, I'd read and get involved with the opinions and comments of violinists with many years of experience rather than look at Suzuki list. None of my teachers followed the Suzuki list, although I've been taught many that appear there. My teachers would think about the next piece based on my level and recent pieces, and I like that very much, first because this way I'm exposed to new "unknown" pieces that are not over played over and over again, and second because it is a personalized choice.

June 15, 2019, 9:31 PM · I have survived a few years after Bach double, actually.

Maybe I was a little clumsy in my wording. Here is another way to say this: There are different kinds of difficulty. Difficulty for the left hand (with subspecies such as shifts, double stops, vibrato etc.) and the right hand. Some music is more difficult in one category, some in other categories

This makes is difficult to precisely sort the repertoire in such a way that each piece is more difficult than its predecessor. Which is the reason that there are always many answers to the question "what next?".

Then there is the whole other difficulty of "getting" the music. I have written elsewhere on this forum that only people over 50 should be allowed tom play Brahms. This is obviously exaggerated but a newly minted 20 year old professional is unlikely to "get" Brahms' quartets. (There is a recording with the--very young--Hilary Hahn playing the Shostakovich a-minor concerto. I once listened to Oistrach (to whom the concerto is dedicated) immediately after her recoding and the difference is striking. He "got" it, she didn't quite.)

Bach double is one of the pieces where this "getting it" is not so easy (less easy than say Vivaldi a-minor, not to mention Seitz), at least not compared to the relatively modest technical demands of the piece. At the very least--or so it seems to me--students should not be challenged too hard technically when there are serious musical issues that ought to be worked on.

And of course in this sense the answer to the question "what to do after X" will in fact be dependent on what you did before X.

Edited: June 16, 2019, 8:52 AM · Yes, that's exactly what I said. I told you one thing is being able to play it, like I am, more or less, and another different thing is to perform it in a professional way. I said I think I'm ages away from playing this double as good as I want it to sound.

Can you show me, if possible, the two links of Hahn and Oistrach?

June 17, 2019, 2:54 PM · Those were CDs from a public library (in the Greater Boston area).
Edited: June 18, 2019, 1:44 PM · Oh man, I'm one of the few people that was not into the Bach Double... my teacher had me do Thais Meditation after the Bach Double.
June 18, 2019, 4:55 PM · I've played a little bit of Meditation before, mostly by ear, never really practiced that piece seriously. I few months ago or even a year that was. I remember it to be quite challenging.
You mean the whole piece?
The same Meditation many pro's like to play as an encore or something?
June 19, 2019, 12:57 AM · If I may add more praise for Bach's double concerto: It works great as a violin duo. Not for performance purposes but for private enjoyment. It seems complete when played only by two violins. Amazing.

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