Popper: Dance of the Elves - NEW showpiece for violin and piano!

Edited: August 19, 2019, 8:00 PM · Hello, I have transcribed (arranged) this popular recital piece by David Popper, originally for cello and piano, for violin and piano. If you are an advanced violinist and need a new encore piece for your recitals, this would be a good one, as it's about 3 minutes long. The original piano part has been re-vamped. It is a whirlwind perpetuum mobile with a most joyous payoff!

It is available for sale on SMP Press, for just $9.99 and you can preview some of the first pages as well:

You can hear how it sounds on this YouTube video:

Questions? Please email me, andrew@andrewramage.com

Replies (18)

Edited: August 20, 2019, 6:22 AM · One of my all time favorite pieces, but killing the orchestra... Well, Jules Massenet Meditation is many times arranged for piano and violin, instead of the original orchestra and violin, and I love the piano version so much. May be it's not that bad.

By the way, can you play in the violin every note the cello plays in this piece?

What kind of things you can do in a cello but technically can't do in the violin. For example, in the cello you can press down a string with your thumb, and that might allow you to do something in the cello that's not possible in the violin.

August 20, 2019, 9:51 AM · Yes, it's a very fun piece. Technically it's probably equivalent to what is required of the cellist in the original. No thumb positions on the violin, although some of us do get creative and move the thumb around "beyond where we should".
Edited: August 20, 2019, 10:25 AM · Paul N., the way I see it, on a cello the notes are much farther apart on the string, so while a cellist in thumb position has an "extra" finger, a violinist could still do the same with four fingers and small "crawling" shifts. But perhaps people who can actually play both instruments could chime in.
Edited: August 20, 2019, 12:47 PM · As an upright bass player, I can say that use of the thumb is hardly an advantage. The notes are so much father apart that it only just levels the playing field, to have an extra finger at your disposal. The thumb is also pretty clumsy compared to the other 4 digits.

Fun piece.

August 20, 2019, 2:10 PM · I played "Elfentanz" or "Dance of the Elves" as a child under dad's tutelage - but this one was by someone called Ezra Jenkinson.
August 20, 2019, 9:02 PM · I think this discussion has gone slightly off-topic... ;-)
Edited: August 21, 2019, 4:24 AM · hey Andrew that's the fun aspect of violinist.com; please don't try to cut short interesting side discussions!
August 21, 2019, 8:36 AM · :/
August 21, 2019, 10:30 AM · Andrew, if you can assure us that profits from the sale of your arrangement are going to charity, I'll accept your rebuke!
August 21, 2019, 8:08 PM · Most certainly.... I make a substantial donation every year to Young Musicians and Artists, Inc. www.ymainc.org So, just know that every cent of profit (and I make 45% of $9.99 per copy sold) goes to this noble organization. Not a charity, but back into the arts. And, classical music these days is grossly underfunded. It always has been, really, but wealthy sustaining patrons have kept many a symphony orchestra afloat.
Edited: August 22, 2019, 12:40 AM · **If anyone wants a printed copy of the piece (printed by a printing service, stapled pages vs. download and print each page yourself after paying SMP Press), please email me for details on how to pay. andrew@andrewramage.com The cost is the same, $9.99, with another $2.50 for shipping within the US or $5.00 for most international shipping. The parts are shipped with a piece of cardboard to ensure integrity.

ALL PROCEEDS go to my favorite musical organization (where I used to work), Young Musicians and Artists, Inc. www.ymainc.org

Don't miss out on putting this showpiece on your recital program! The cellists have owned it for about 150 years so now it's time for violinists to perform it as well!

August 22, 2019, 6:57 AM · I wouldn't insist on the charity being registered, and I would imagine Young Musicians and Artists would legitimately count as a charity. Rebuke accepted.
August 22, 2019, 10:04 AM · Thank you for your support, John!! Enjoy "Elfentanz"!
August 23, 2019, 10:23 AM · Both Jenkinson and Popper's pieces are called Elfentanz, plus, I think, others besides. In my hands, the Popper would probably sound more like Elefantentanz!
Edited: August 23, 2019, 7:14 PM · Haha Elephantanz, very good. Don't get me wrong, the Popper is a VERY difficult piece. About 20 times harder than that Jenkinson number. I'm sure it's even harder on the cello than on the violin!! I've only heard one live performance of it (on the cello I mean) and the guy who played it was a Juilliard student who came onstage and tossed it off like it was absolutely easy. Well, after hearing it, I decided to transcribe it for the violin. But I had no idea how *really* difficult it was until I got Popper's score and looked at it - and tried to play it a couple octaves higher on the violin. It's playable...but very challenging.
August 23, 2019, 8:33 PM · Cellists get to play the very nice transcriptions of violin pieces that Laszlo Varga wrote (my kids have the Brahms d minor sonata on deck), so why not Popper for the violin.
August 23, 2019, 9:57 PM · I found a performance by Helena and Martina Baillie on youtube. Ms. Baillie is playing the viola, but being more similar to violin than cello in execution, her performance may answer some questions about the thumb issue...


August 24, 2019, 1:28 PM · That's quite something, about the Brahms Sonata #3 being transcribed for the cello...then again, there aren't many passages in the upper register for that piece. It's very autumnal, primarily focused in the lower register of the instrument.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Sejong Music Competition
Sejong Music Competition

Watch Gilharmonic on Violinist.com
Watch Gilharmonic on Violinist.com

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases



Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins


Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine