Future Repertoire?

Edited: August 4, 2017, 4:32 PM · My name is Cal Alexander, and I am a student. I'm always curious on future repertoire, and I wanted some ideas. This is my current repertoire:
Mendelssohn Concerto in E minor
Wieniawski Scherzo-Tarantelle
Bach Preludio in E Major
Beethoven Spring Sonata
What are some pieces (concertos, sonatas, solo violin, show pieces etc) that would be good for me to play next and would give me a challenge? I'll take any suggestions.


Replies (21)

Edited: August 4, 2017, 4:47 PM · I would recommend Mozart No. 4 or 5 if you haven't played them. Also Bach D minor partita or G minor sonata may be a good choice, if you have played other pieces in E major partita. Have you played Bruch? It is a beautiful piece.
August 4, 2017, 4:48 PM · Most Bach Unaccompanied movements would do the trick. Some pieces worth mentional: Danse Espagnole (De Falla/Kreisler), Preludium and Allegro (Kreisler), Mozart concertos, and there's much, much more.
Edited: August 4, 2017, 4:54 PM · Sung Han Ella Yu I've already played Mozart Concertos 3 and 5. I haven't played Bruch however. I think my teacher was debating between Bruch and Mendelssohn and she chose Mendelssohn. And do you mean the whole Bach S/P or just the d minor partita without chaconne?
August 4, 2017, 4:59 PM · Any other suggestions? Are Paganini caprices and other solo violin works (Ysaye) beyond my ability? Am I capable of playing any show pieces in the standard repertoire? Also, is the Kreutzer Sonata out of my capabilities? Sorry for all of the questions! I'm just curious!
August 4, 2017, 4:59 PM · Then I strongly recommend Bruch for your next concerto piece. D minor partita has a definitely different look and feel so that is a good choice (w/o Chaconne, of course).
August 4, 2017, 5:08 PM · Thanks Sung! I'm sorry for being persistently curious, but what are more good concerto/sonatas/show pieces for either after those pieces or now? Sorry for bugging y'all a lot!
Edited: August 4, 2017, 6:05 PM · Wieniawski No. 2 in D minor is also a good choice in general, but I am not sure about that because you already played his Scherzo-Tarantelle.

Saint-Saens No. 3 in B minor and Sarasate's Zigeunerweisen are worthy of consideration for a concerto piece and a show piece, respectively.

Beethoven's Kreutzer is a beautiful piece, but significantly harder than Spring, and you need a very good pianist to make it work.

Hope this helps.

August 4, 2017, 6:21 PM · Thanks so much Sung!
August 4, 2017, 6:27 PM · Saint-Saens Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso.
Edited: August 4, 2017, 6:41 PM · John Rokos I love that piece! I actually heard it at a recent camp that I went to! I want to play it very much, but are you sure that I could be ready for it? If so, I'm anxious to play it!
August 4, 2017, 7:02 PM · What does your teacher say?

If you've played a competent Mendelssohn and Scherzo-Tarantelle, you should be able to manage quite a few of the major concertos (Barber, Bruch No. 1, Lalo Symphonie Espagnol, Khachaturian, Wieniawski No. 2, for instance), as well as a significant percentage of showpieces (most Sarasate, a fair chunk of Wieniawski, etc.) Most of the sonata repertoire should also be playable.

For Ysaye in particular, some of it might be doable. You could probably manage the Ysaye "Obsession" from the 2nd sonata if you can handle the tenths.

There may be less-difficult Paganini caprices that are doable, as well, depending on your technical strengths and weaknesses, but these are more of a stretch, I'd say.

Typically at this stage of development, you broaden your repertoire and build skills along the way, but most things start to be within reach.

August 4, 2017, 7:27 PM · Thanks Lydia!
August 5, 2017, 1:29 AM · Calvin, my teacher put me on to the Intro and Rondo Capriccioso before the Mendelssohn (in a failed attempt to teach me what gracefulness in playing meant), but other opinions on v.com have been that the Mendelssohn should have been first. Either way, I think don't it's a bad next step for you. It's Romantic era, but profits from similar skills to Mozart, phrasing off nicely, almost note-to-note not-overdone expressive variation in tone, timbre, etc.
August 5, 2017, 4:42 AM · Thanks John!
August 5, 2017, 5:32 AM · You should play Banjo and Fiddle by Kroll, or alternatively a solo sonata by Max Reger. They both have that jaunty, "I just escaped the Labyrinth of symbolic logic!" kind of feel.
Edited: August 5, 2017, 6:30 AM · I agree with Lydia (don't I always?) - at this stage in your development your teacher should be guiding your growth. On the other hand - if you can find the time there is no reason not to try to play anything that strikes your fancy/(fantasy). Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

With the current ubiquity of YouTube and IMSLP I wonder why anyone asks such "what should I play next?" questions. In my day I had to either wait to hear Heifetz or Kreisler (etc.) on AM radio or invest a lot of money in 78rpm records (I no longer had a teacher). Now anyone can just look it up, download, print and try it out.

Personally I have always liked the challenge of the Beethoven concerto, not so much for virtuosity, but as an interpretive challenge- maybe because that's what I undertook with a vengeance when I was 15, because my father was going to take me to a Heifetz performance of it for my 16th birthday - and his was the only recording of it we had (78rpm) - and I wanted to be as "ready" for that concert as I possibly could be - and I was. Actually in those days, the only violin concerto recordings we had were of Heifetz (Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Brahms & Tchaikovsky), so naturally those where what I tried - after Mozart concertos.

I also favor the Bruch as incredibly rewarding for the effort involved.

Edited: August 5, 2017, 6:39 AM · If your original choice was between Mendelssohn and Bruch, and your teacher chose Mendelssohn, it's hard to imagine Bruch wouldn't be next. But who knows. In addition to some of those mentioned there is also Vieuxtemps No. 4. And if you are doing sonatas (and have a good pianist to work with) then there is Franck A Major.
August 5, 2017, 9:23 AM · Thanks Benjamin, Paul, and Andrew! I was just wondering if I could suggest anything to my teacher and see what she said about it.
August 5, 2017, 11:41 AM · You probably have repertoire that you want to play, if you routinely listen to violin music. It's worth asking your teacher about favored works, since even if it's "no" now, it might help them with selecting an alternative, or putting the work on your goal list for the future.
Edited: August 5, 2017, 1:15 PM · In addition to your next concerto, you should start working through a lot more Bach. If you played a decent Mendelssohn than you should be able to do 2 or 3 of the complete solo Bach works with your current skills (so finish up the E Major for starters), but by the time you finish a few of them you'll be better and will be able to tackle more of it, probably everything but some of the fugues. Also, by the time you get some Bach under your belt you'll probably be able to start doing Paganini too.
August 5, 2017, 4:18 PM · Thanks Jason!

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