When did you play Mozart 5 ?

Edited: September 14, 2019, 6:18 PM · Hello guys,
Can you tell me when you've studied for the first time Mozart's 5 violin concerto. It will helps me to decide if I can handle it(currently playing Mozart 3).

Replies (26)

September 14, 2019, 5:26 PM · College.

Learned #3 as a high school freshman; #4 as a sophomore.

Mozart is a lot harder than many teachers (and students) think it is.

September 14, 2019, 5:27 PM · Record yourself playing number 3 all the way through. If you like it and there aren't any mistakes, you can move on to 5.

If, on the other hand, you can't listen to your own recording without cringing or breathing loudly to hide the mistakes... Well, you need to do a lot of detail work first.

Edited: September 14, 2019, 5:30 PM · Thank you very much for your advices!
Edited: September 14, 2019, 5:50 PM · I think I did Mozart 3 when I was around 10. I didn't do Mozart 4 until I'd done several of the Romantic concertos; I was around 14 or 15, I think. I learned Mozart 5 as an adult, after my second return to the violin. (I think 5 is slightly easier than 4, but opinions on this differ. Both are a nontrivial step up in difficulty from 3.)
September 14, 2019, 6:39 PM · My father had the sheet music for Mozart 3 & 5 so I played them when I was about 14. I did not lay eyes on the music for M4 until I was 39 and M2 until I was about 70 ( like M2 a lot!) I have not played M1, although I do have the music--somewhere.

I've never performed any of the Mozart concertos, but practiced them a lot.

September 14, 2019, 6:50 PM · My son did Mozart 5 at age 10, Mozart 4 at 12, and Mozart 3 at 14. According to his current teacher, this was completely backwards, though, and it should have been flipped the other way with Mozart 3 first. Pieces he had played slightly before Mozart 5 were Haydn G major, Bach a minor, Accolay, and I think DeBeriot 9.
September 14, 2019, 6:51 PM · I never did 5 but I did 3 at 11 and 4 at 12. 4 and 5 are similar difficulty.
September 14, 2019, 7:32 PM · You might be playing M3 okay now, but if you don't have the foundation that would come from the pieces Susan mentioned (and I would add a few Handel sonatas), then M5 is going to be a grind. I think I can play M3 pretty well, but M5 is shaping up to be a lifelong project (but I'm in my mid-50s, I can't learn as fast as a teenager).
September 14, 2019, 9:16 PM · Wow Susan your son learnt Mozart 5 at 10??
Was it just the 1st movement or the entire concerto?

In my honest opinion I think no matter how talented a child is playing Mozart 5 at such a young age isn't going to turn out spectacularly due to th high level of musical maturity and sense of style required to pull off Mozart beautifully

September 14, 2019, 10:24 PM · Mozart requires impeccable technique, but that technique is achievable in properly-trained kids. That includes the technique required to make it sound clean, elegant and graceful.

Obviously, most students (regardless of age) aren't going to play Mozart like a mature virtuoso like Grumiaux or Hahn does. But it should still be plenty listenable.

Edited: September 15, 2019, 7:14 AM · What's more, just as there is a distribution in children's ability to reach technical mastery at a young age (some do, many don't), there is also precociousness in musicality. Mendelssohn was 16 years old when he wrote the E-flat octet. Surely the most skilled youngsters among us now can play it. I'm in my 50s and therefore "mature" enough with enough "life experiences" to interpret music -- everyone around here knows I think that's mostly drivel anyway. Trust me: No matter the piece, you'd rather hear Susan's boy playing it.
September 15, 2019, 8:22 AM · Paul - ask a 12 yr prodigy to play Brahms.
September 15, 2019, 8:34 AM · Hm, I get where the both of you are coming from, but by that logic, does it mean a 13 year old kid with impeccable technique will be able to pull off Beethoven well?
September 15, 2019, 9:04 AM · Huberman was 13 I believe when he played the Brahms concerto with Brahms in attendance. Menuhin made his Carnegie hall debut playing Beethoven at 11 years old. Definitely rare examples but these things are possible.
September 15, 2019, 11:06 AM · Gabriel - thanks for that - but I'm talking the 1/10000 prodigy not the one in a century :D

You never seem to hear these young brilliants playing Brahms sonatas or pieces that take complex musical approaches. Beethoven sonatas sure - they can be played very well without a lot of soul searching, but Brahms is rather different. I'm sure there has been an exception, but it really is that.

September 15, 2019, 12:01 PM · I learned five as a college student, but played four for college auditions. I think they get more challenging the more one works on them.

As Mary Ellen alludes to...there's a reason they're on practically every single professional orchestra audition rep list. :P

September 15, 2019, 2:20 PM · I played Mozart 5 at 16 after studying violin for 2 years. No, it wasn't great....
September 15, 2019, 2:49 PM · I played Mozart 5, A major, when I was a teenager, exactly how old I was I don't remember, maybe 17. I had never heard the music before I played it.

This was a time where there was no Internet and YouTube, a time with gramophone records, but I didn't have a gramophone player. Listening to music recordings happened with a radio. I did have a tape recorder and sometimes I recorded music from the radio. Earlier on I played the G major concerto (number 3). And that one was broadcast in the radio so I connected my tape recorder and recorded it.

Other means of listening to music was going to a concert or going to the Royal Theater in Copenhagen to see an opera.

Edited: September 15, 2019, 8:03 PM · Joel, my son is a bit unusual in that he has always been very musically mature, but his technique wasn't always great. So, yes, even at 10 he was able to play Mozart 5 quite nicely. His technique is catching up to his musicality now. Interestingly, though, playing Mozart 3 at age 14 was a totally different experience for him. Absolutely nothing technically challenging for him (except his own cadenzas he wrote!) but he found it much harder to play than when he played #5 at age 10. So even that little bit of maturity was quite dramatic for him. In Mozart 3, he really thought about every single gesture, every nuance, every turn of phrase.

Incidentally, in his program, it is routine to play Tchaikovsky or Sibelius or Brahms at 15-18 years of age, but no one EVER plays Beethoven. That is always saved for college.

Edited: September 15, 2019, 8:58 PM · As an adult student, I did Mozart 5 (this summer) after Bruch and Mendelssohn.

I did Mozart 3 in my early teens.

September 16, 2019, 5:53 AM · My daughter (turns 11 the month), is learning Mozart 5.
She did 3 in the last 6 months.
Isn’t it a standard progression, both in late Suzuki and Delay’s repertoire?
September 16, 2019, 12:01 PM · Elise, the relative rarity of sonata repertoire amongst young students is due to many factors unrelated to musical maturity. First and foremost, sonata repertoire requires repeated rehearsal and dialogue with the pianist, who often has the more difficult part. This requires more preparation and skill on the part of the pianist, and many more rehearsals, often including the ability of the pianist to attend the violinist's lessons with a teacher. In general, a student preparing to play a showpiece or concerto just needs a quick run-thru with a professional pianist. That's not really a good way to approach a sonata, making that impractical for most young students. (Young students are probably best off learning how to engage in musical discussions in the context of coached chamber music with a peer group quartet.)

Second, sonata repertoire is less useful pedagogically. Most repertoire for young students is structured as a series of sequential technical challenges to overcome. Most sonata repertoire doesn't have a lot of technical demands that aren't better addressed in other ways. Thus students typically learn this repertoire significantly later on -- typically once they've completed a good chunk of the concerto repertoire, or in the college years and beyond.

Third, sonatas are generally not accepted as competition or audition repertoire until you start to get to the professional competitions where a sonata becomes mandatory. As such, given that the violinistic lives of many ambitious young students are structured around competitions, auditions, etc., sonatas are highly unlikely to be chosen.

Handel and Beethoven are a small exception; Handel shows up in Suzuki (and it works fine as a one-runthrough-with-piano work), and Beethoven shows up in the ABRSM repertoire.

September 16, 2019, 6:45 PM · In fact, the latest 2020-2023 violin syllabus feaures Brahms Violin Sonata No. 3 (4th movt) for grade 8, which imho is not really a good idea
September 16, 2019, 7:06 PM · @Joel, I agree although its not the first ABRSM Grade 8 syllabus to have Brahms on
Edited: September 16, 2019, 8:29 PM · Some of the more talented youngsters in my area are doing chamber music -- string quartets and such. It really just depends on the teacher's approach. Will they be competitive for conservatoire? I don't know -- but I also am not sure they're really interested in that. One thing they can all plainly see is how hard their teachers work to eke out, at best, middle-class lifestyles (but also they can see how satisfied their teachers seem to be doing that).
September 17, 2019, 3:22 AM · I played Mozart 3 (1st movement) for grade 7 and 13 and Mozart 5 (1st movement) for the ALCM (just scraping through, and it was easier then) at 16/17, performing just the slow movement at a school concert just a little later. Of course it made sense to study the whole concertos at those times.

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