What do you think about Schumann sonata?

Edited: July 11, 2019, 10:02 AM · Hi. Today my teacher gave me Schumann sonata n1 a minor 1st mov. I really like it and
i think I've never read anything about this piece. I would like to know your opinion: do you think it's a difficult piece? When did u learn it? What should I play after this sonata?

Ps: I play the violin for 12 years

Replies (25)

July 11, 2019, 4:00 AM · I performed it last year - I think you can tell a really great piece, and for me this was, if you still love it after working on it that hard! Not difficult technically, but wonderful if you are expressive yourself.
July 11, 2019, 5:30 AM · And what piece do you think I should play after Schumann sonata?
July 11, 2019, 12:37 PM · nr 2
July 11, 2019, 2:25 PM · Depends on what you've done before I guess - but I'm not a teacher. What does yours suggest? Pieces are often chosen to work on your weaknesses or to show your strengths.
July 11, 2019, 3:54 PM · Elise Stanley: I've played
Hungarian dance n5/n2
Bach a minor
Sicilienne rigaudon
I've also read Haydn c major(I hate this concert) , viotti 23, beriot a minor and kabalevsky violin concerto

This year I had 3 teachers
One of them said I should play kabalevsky,
The other one said Mozart 3/5

I don't know which one I should play. I like Mozart, specially n5 but I'd like to suggest bruch g minor. Do you think it is too advanced?

Edited: July 11, 2019, 4:19 PM · You should do Kabalevsky and Mozart before Bruch.

Many students are not assigned violin/piano sonata repertoire before conservatory because of the difficulty of pianist collaboration -- i.e. finding a peer who will study the piano part and having the many rehearsals really needed to make it a good experience.

Edited: July 11, 2019, 4:44 PM · Do you think i should be more advanced as I've been playing the violin for 12 years? I started when I was 4 yo
Edited: July 11, 2019, 5:23 PM · If you can find a pianist capable of playing the Schumann sonatas with you you should do all 3. They are "readable" and then worth working on to get to their core.

My 50 years experience playing works of this nature with 4 pianists who could (and some who couldn't) is that it all goes best if your pianist can do a credible job sight reading them. The real work comes later. If the pianist cannot do that, chances are you will not stay around long enough for sufficient improvement.

Edited: July 11, 2019, 5:44 PM · I think that's a wonderful way to interpretate the importance of violin-piano's "relationship"
Besides Schumann sonatas, do you recommend any other sonatas?
July 11, 2019, 6:25 PM · All 3 Brahms sonatas, the sonatas of Mozart and Beethoven, as well as Grieg, Faure No. 1, Franck, Ravel, Richard Strauss.
Edited: July 11, 2019, 7:01 PM · "Do you think i should be more advanced as I've been playing the violin for 12 years?"

If you're playing that stuff really well, then you're doing fine, I think. There are students who got farther in 12 years, but that's always going to be true.

I know what you mean about the Haydn C Major. If you're going to play that you might as well play Mozart.

July 11, 2019, 10:25 PM · "Should" be more advanced is a complex question and it depends on the quality of the teaching you've received, and how well you practice, and how much you practice daily.

You certainly could be more advanced. Whether your investment to date should have yielded more advancement is impossible to say.

July 12, 2019, 8:07 AM · If you always have three different teachers you might have a problem advancing in anything like a straight line! If there is no logistic issue, why not commit to one and follow their course?

Without a main teacher to keep you on track and encourage you to work on your weaknesses, it is so easy to dissipate your efforts, slowing down your progress.

July 12, 2019, 8:09 AM · By the way, I love to work on sonatas - its a lot easier finding a pianist (and yes, you usually have to pay them else you generally get one that can not keep up) than an orchestra! One way to do this is to work hard on the violin part and then go to a summer festival to work with the pianist and perform.
Edited: July 12, 2019, 9:00 AM · Lots of students end up with 3 teachers in a year. That happens when you do a teacher switch and attend a summer festival where you study with a third teacher. Or, you take a strings class in school and study a second instrument, where the teachers will give their feedback, sometimes in an off-the-cuff way that's not intended to interfere with what your private teacher does. More context is needed before assuming he "always" studies with 3 teachers.

Given your past repertoire, I think you should consider these pieces after the Schumann:
Beethoven sonata No. 5 "Spring"
Mozart sonatas
Monti Csardas
Kreisler Praeludium and Allegro

The last two are not sonatas, but they are a typical next step in the non-concerto literature. Reading the above suggestions, I personally think the third Schumann Sonata is way too hard to put together for someone at your repertoire level/experience, and I wouldn't work on Ravel or Strauss until much later too.

July 12, 2019, 9:37 AM · I agree with the whole of Frieda's post. My suggestions were intended as "listen to these for fun" not as "play these in the future".

Some kids who go to a music high school or the like might be lucky enough to find pianist partners, but in most cases the piano part of a sonata is more difficult than the violin part and the pianist has to invest a lot of time into it unless you're playing a work that all the pianists already know. Also, it can be more fun to play these works with a peer, because you get into more back-and-forth dialogue about how you want them to sound. (Working with a professional can be very helpful in terms of them making suggestions to you, though.)

July 12, 2019, 10:22 AM · I agree with Freida too! Sometimes things seem a little hasty because we can only go with the information provided. If we put in every proviso these posts would never stop!

Are you currently studying violin in college Afonso? For some reason I did not get that impression but if so then I get Freida's point that you are very likely to work with multiple teachers. Perhaps there is one in particular that you work best with and that can advise you. After Schumann I worked on Brahms #1 and Mozart V, both of which seem consistent with the advice above.

July 29, 2019, 3:04 PM · Never anything wrong with Mozart sonata. As previously suggested, you could also do some sort of fun "showy offy" type pieces, such as Kreisler
Edited: July 29, 2019, 6:45 PM · @Afonso Marques, July 29, 2019

Elisabeth Matesky /Int'l Known Violinist/Carrier of Heifetz-Milstein Legacy

Re: Schumann Sonata No.1 in a minor, 1st movement & Afonso Marques ~

As a concert performing artist/artist pupil of both Violinist's, Jascha Heifetz & Nathan Milstein, I've loved-performed & loved-taught this glorious a minor Schumann Sonata for Violin/Piano No. 1 on many occasions, and when I'm teaching/offering ideas about the First Sonata of Robert Schumann, who was the closest friend of Johannes Brahms (yes! The composer of the Violin Concerto, Sonatas, 'Double' Violin/Violoncello Concerto & Orchestra, 4 magnificent symphonies, etc. piano Concerti #1 & #2), I most frequently encounter violinists with bowing myths which restricts great emotional expression & certainly in a work as emotive & heart-on-his-sleeve as the Robert Schumann Violin/Piano Sonata #1!!

In London at Trinity College of Music, to present a comprehensive series of Violin, Chamber Music, Unaccompanied Bach for Violin, & Orchestral Rep + Milstein Bowing's 'Take' Master Classes, a marvellous naturally gifted musician on the violin pupil, Dimitri, brought the Schumann Sonata - all 3 Movements, to my Chamber Music Master Class w/a most caring British pianist! The organic musicality in Dimitri's musical DNA was more than impressive! Yet, despite his own desires to manifest these feelings which were truly in sync w/the cloudy w/sunshine 'weather' of the First Mov't., all wasn't bursting forth & he was utterly frustrated ~ I set about guiding newer Bow Arm motions never known to him and was able to show him 'How' to use the Bow to advantage by making in-sync emotionally appropriate style bowing's to portray Schumann's 1st Mov't."weather" of the cloudy (recall, a minor is rather cloudy but also mysterious in the Composer hands of Robert Schumann, & sunshine moods (weather) with more broadly brushed bows to add joyful touches to the musical messages within this (I'll take a chance with the word) 'exotically' romantic + must sound Breathless plus phrasing ~ Together, Dimitri & I, in only 1 hour, transformed his bowing's in to navigable w/the bow arm motions to make free w/(for lack of better words) unrestricted bowing's! And Brushed bows to lengthen heart beat phrases which then fade away ...

You have asked many here about what you should learn/read/play After the Schumann, which you say you 'really like' ~ Never wishing to interfere with a Teacher, I will offer this solid suggestion! It is essential for you to really learn/feel this 1st movement (then try a read, SLOWLY, w/a caring pianist
w/ No Pressure) & continue your Robert Schumann Journey into the 2nd Mov't., w/same approach I've shared here about Dimitri in London (UK), & then on to the wondrous 3rd Mov't., again in like manner as the first & second movement's, and When you have All Three Movement's of Robert
Schumann's Sonata #1 in a minor for Violin (with Piano) under your musical fingers, learn the Piano score with a caring (& perhaps a more advanced Pianist than yourself) Together!!! A Violinist Is NOT A MUSICIAN ON THE VIOLIN UNTIL KNOWING THE COMPLETE SCORE OF ANY PIECE AND
OR VIOLIN CONCERTO, VIOLIN & PIANO SONATA OR PIANO, VIOLIN, VIOLONCELLO TRIO!!!! FULL STOP!!! This Schumann Sonata will bear unexpected Fruits, Musically & btw, technically as a Violinist, if YOU WILL Determine to Learn This Glorious Sonata!!! When you go to a Dance, do you dance Alone by yourself?? Or do you seek a nice girl to ask to Dance, and Dance Together?! Becoming an Authentic Musician means learning & knowing The Whole Score!!!

Now is The Time to Start a 'Major Learning Music as a Whole' Chapter after 12 Years studying the pieces you mention above! No one need feel weird/ intimidated by liking or loving a given piece of Music, for as I tell my pupil's (from around the world) if you Love a Piece of Music at a given time, It will
Love You!! Go for it, Afonso! This Schumann Sonata #1 in a minor for both Violin & Piano has dropped into your life for a very important reason. Now Go GRAB IT!!!!

As for what is next: once you truly Know the Schumann Sonata #1 for both Violin & Piano, you will instinctively know what work or works you wish to learn! And during your Schumann Journey, you might ask your teacher, on my suggestion, to start the 1st Mov't of the Unaccompanied Bach Sonata
Number 2 in a minor, Adagio!!! Listen to my great Mentor, Nathan Milstein, playing this Solo Bach Violin Sonata #2, Adagio!!! Btw, Stop living in The Future; Live one day at a time, fully!! You will then find Calm and will begin to decide on One Teacher! An old motto: 'Too many cooks spoil the Broth!'

My sincere best wishes to you ~

Elisabeth Matesky / Chicago *

*https://youtu.be/M54U-P-Vs9g ( My Violin Master Class film w/ Jascha
Heifetz - Khachaturian )


Edited: July 31, 2019, 9:03 AM · To be assigned either of the Schumann sonatas by your teacher is a compliment to your technical and musical ability. I love them and return to them again and again with chamber music partners. It takes a very good pianist.

If you want to try to understand them, explore the German romantic poetry that was so much of Schumann's inspiration.

If you want to explore the sonata repertoire, buy Mozart (the International is a nice starter edition with fingerings) and Beethoven (Schirmer is a good starting place) and read them (again find a really good pianist).

For the Beethoven I'd encourage people to skip Kreutzer which is a virtuoso work and kind of an outlier. The entire body of Beethoven sonatas is playable, not easy but not technically vexing, and just brimming with lovely cantabile lines and exchanges between the violin and piano.

And then once you have a very solid base in what a sonata is, THEN maybe it's time to start on Brahms. Brahms is so special, I think it's worth saving until one is ready technically and musically.

August 1, 2019, 12:20 PM · Schumann's later output gets lots of unfair criticism due to his illness, yet his music remained "true Schumann" throughput-as is the case with his violin works.

Op. 105 was composed during this later period. It is a marvelous work with incredible emotional depth. While it's not as technically advanced as many other better known works, playing it well requires deep understanding of Schumann-and oneself-to evoke a moving performance-yes, this work is intended to convey depth of emotion. Goes without saying it's not about playing the notes.

Love his posthumous sonata too (all the 4 movements-the Intermezzo is quite the depiction of a longing, saddened soul). "Crazy" period Schumann gave us many heartfelt jewels.

So yes, the Schumann Sonatas are beautiful, and worthy of study and performance, even if they did not get the renown of the better known romantic sonatas.

August 2, 2019, 9:50 AM · Ms. Matesky - your memoir above is so dramatic and fairly leaps from the page...are you a novelist? Your Milstein stories would be a nail-biter...
Edited: August 4, 2019, 5:52 PM · @ Andrew Sords ~

Dear Mr. Sords ~

Thank You for such a compliment suggesting I am a Novelist!! No, I'm not a professional writer of Books, but more and more when replying to various Discussions about my field of expertise, Violin and Music, I'm being kindly accused of this compliment, which my Mother would applaud as she was
always encouraging me to write!!! Being rather late on Sunday afternoon, I would appreciate your patience in awaiting a further Reply, but feel rather delighted you refer to my mention of my great Mentor & Friend, Nathan Milstein, regarding stories I might share as being "a nail bitter"!!! Surely, Mr. Milstein would love this!!!

Needless to say, Nathan Milstein was, IMO, the only peer of my first violin mentor, Jascha Heifetz, & both Icon's of The Violin had enormous respect and affection for each other!! I know this because I was privy to their kind compliments to me about the other!! What a fabulous listener role to be in ~ The Ear of both Heifetz and Nathan Milstein!!!

Seriously considering writing a Book about my Musical & personally so far
adventurous Life, your kind words add encouragement to a venture never before tried, yet have been thought about for nearly 4 decades! (I've even got the Title, but nothing to give off clues of what may be written about!!) As wise folks are prone to say, "Let's see what happens"!!

Once again, hearty Thanks for such a compliment and I shall take it under serious advisement! In the meantime, what do you think of Schumann's Sonata #1 in a minor for Violin et Piano??! Do you play violin or piano??
I Love this work and truly reveled in it whilst teaching it in London, + when & wherever it surfaces ~ A true portrait of the Man, Robert Schumann, in various chapters of his life here on Earth . . . (His Piano Concerto is divine, & I was intoxicated whilst marking all Orchestral inner circle String bowing's with a fingering here and there, but my main goal was to coordinate All the String bowing's with the phrasing of Winds, Brass & of course, the specific Piano Soloist's phrasing & breaths ~ (In the EM Edition premiere concert in
Chicago, everything fused together w/ Themes mirroring each other in like
manner ~ The audience stood up for a good while showing appreciation!)

With sincere good wishes from America, write in again!

Elisabeth Matesky *


*https:// www.facebook.com (listing under Elisabeth Anne Matesky )

August 5, 2019, 9:57 AM · Andrew Sords is a violinist and a touring soloist. You can find his biography by clicking on his name.
August 8, 2019, 4:01 AM · Thank you everyone, you re fantastic. Your advices will help me a lot. Just one more thing... Lots of people say that I should play 2nd and 3rd movement but do you have any other suggestion? These are some pieces that I would like to play and I would like to know if u think I'm ready to play them: bruch violin concerto n1, praeludium Allegro, kabalevsky violin concerto, Mozart 5, Mozart 4

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