Duet similar to Bach Double 2nd mvt

Edited: September 17, 2019, 8:02 PM · Can someone recommend a violin duet similar to the Bach double 2nd mvt but slightly easier? I’m looking for something to play with my husband for a family Christmas recital. I learned the 2nd violin part of the Bach double 2nd mvt with my teacher but it was pretty hard and am looking for something I can play more confidently. (I’m an adult learner)

Replies (18)

Edited: September 17, 2019, 9:01 PM · There are SO MANY violin duets out there ... probably that's your problem: How to choose? If you want something strictly classical then what I can say is that some violinist-composers like Mazas, De Beriot, and others (and Mozart) wrote volumes of "easier" violin duets. What I can say of the Mazas and the De Beriot is that they are not all drivel. You have set a very high standard, I'm afraid, of musical content with the Bach. Finding something "like that" is like finding a sculpture "kind of like Michaelangelo's David".

Also there have been threads on this in the past. See the search box at the top? Type in "violin duets" and see what comes back. (Note that Bartok and Prokofiev are probably harder than the 2nd mvt of the Bach Double by large margin).

I have a nice volume of some duets by Russian composers in my library (because my teacher is Russian, so these are old Soviet-era editions).

Edited: September 17, 2019, 9:05 PM · Thanks Paul. I don’t know very much about violin duet options since I only played piano as a child. Maybe I will look into Mazas, since I really like a lot of the Mazas etudes.

I know!...I love Bach so much. Just wish I could play it better!

I’ll try searching too but my problem is that most of the people on this forum are much more advanced, and it’s hard for me to tell what would be appropriate for my level. Thanks!

September 17, 2019, 9:07 PM · I would recommend checking out Pleyel duets. They're technically not too bad and musically very nice (Mozart was a fan of Pleyel). I don't have a particular one in mind since I haven't played them in a while but if you check out e.g. Op 48 on youtube you might find something that fits the bill.
September 18, 2019, 8:13 AM · Thanks Gabriel. I have never heard of Pleyel before. Will look into it!
September 18, 2019, 10:19 AM · Check out the Leclair sonatas for two violins.
September 18, 2019, 10:42 AM · There are several Vivaldi 2-violin concertos that are technically less difficult than his solo concertos, perhaps intended for his student orchestra at the Venice girls orphanage school. The slow movements don't get enough credit. Vivaldi was also an opera composer, and those slow movement long-line melodies have a definite vocal quality.
September 18, 2019, 12:33 PM · Pleyel is known for one thing: His violin duets! LOL They're very nice. Also if you look on Amazon you'll find lots of books like "Easy Violin Duets" arranged by the likes of Harvey Whistler, but these are arrangements of other tunes usually -- not duet compositions per se. Still they can be fun to play through. I also prepared a collection of duet arrangements for some German Christmas carols. I basically adapted an existing (copyright-protected) arrangement, though so I can't really sell it.
Edited: September 18, 2019, 9:16 PM · Try Five Pieces for Two Violins and Piano by Shostakovich. Beautiful music. Not insanely difficult.
September 18, 2019, 11:49 PM · Not insanely difficult but more difficult than the Bach Double, I think.

I do love those pieces though.

Edited: September 19, 2019, 10:07 AM · Teleman: 6 Canonic Sonatas for Two Violins.
I love the Bach Double myself, and am just nuts about the swing version by Eddie South on YouTube; this is the shorter version:


Someday I hope to be able to play the Bach & also the swing Bach. For now, I can just manage the Telemann. BTW, I vote yes on all the excellent suggestions above, as well!

September 19, 2019, 11:36 AM · @ Erin, Stephane Grappelli is "other" violinist on this clip.
September 19, 2019, 12:29 PM · Lots of good suggestions from others. From 75 to 64 years ago I would occasionally play the Bach double and some Mozart, Mazas and Leclair violin duets with my father. In fact I had just one day with him after I arrived home after my sophomore year of college and his final ambulance ride to Walter Reed hospital when we played some duets for about an hour.

As you might imagine, those duets are very special to me.

Edited: September 19, 2019, 2:44 PM · It seems to me that the request is to find a piece that has musical similarities with the Bach slow movement, not just one that is easier. The goal is to use it for a Christmas recital and the Bach is certainly "Christmasy". And I have to admit that I have no good ideas.

Of all the suggestions above I find that only Vivaldi concertos fit the bill in this regard. Except there is a rather big problem: Unlike the Bach they don't work as duos, they need a piano or at the very least a cello to accompany the violins. Otherwise I would recommend the slow movement of op. 3/8 in a-minor. The whole concerto is one of Vivaldi's best and the slow movement is lovely. But you'd need at least a cello to play the bass line.

September 19, 2019, 5:16 PM · Check out the 2nd movement of Bach's Oboe-Violin concerto. It's very similar to the double and slightly easier. The oboe part works fine on the violin.
Edited: September 19, 2019, 5:51 PM · I really like the Mazas Op 38 duets. They are progressive in difficulty, but none are too tough.

Patrick Murphy has recorded both violin parts for most of the pieces in this playlist

It makes it fun to have someone to practice with, even if my "real" partner is missing :)

The sheet music is available at (for some reason this link won't post correctly, so just Google "mazas op 38 imslp" and you'll find it!

https://imslp.org/wiki/18_Violin_Duos%2C_Op.38_(Mazas%2C_Jacques_F%C3%A9r%C3%A9ol) <<<


September 21, 2019, 8:52 PM · Thanks everyone! I have so many suggestions to look into now! Might keep me busy for the next several years’ worth of Christmas recitals!!! :)
September 22, 2019, 3:23 AM · @Erin, I believe Stephane Grappelli had a few years of violin at the Paris Conservatoire in his youth. I think that background comes out in all his playing.
September 25, 2019, 8:38 AM · There's the Purcell Golden Sonata, too.

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 YVN Model 3
Yamaha YVN Model 3

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


Violin Pedagogy Symposium
Violin Pedagogy Symposium

Masterclass Al-Andalus
Masterclass Al-Andalus

Aria International Summer Academy

Meadowmount School of Music

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