Wieniawski 2 vs Mendelssohn Concerto

January 11, 2020, 12:21 PM · Hey guys,
I like both the Wieniawski 2 and the Mendelssohn concerto. How can I persuade my teacher to give me either one? Also, I would like to hear your opinion on your preferred concerto. Thanks so much!

Replies (9)

January 11, 2020, 12:28 PM · A friend of mine did Wieniawski 2 before Mendelssohn. I would suggest that as I believe it is more violinistic
Edited: January 11, 2020, 12:47 PM · Thanks for your response, but can you make your definition of violinistic clearer?
Edited: January 11, 2020, 5:37 PM · Violinistic means that it tends to fit your hands instead of forcing you to do things that seem unnatural on the fingerboard. The prevailing theory (which may be true) is that concertos written by violinists tend to be more violinistic. On the other hand, my own opinion is that violin concertos written by pianists tend to be ... better concertos.

If I were teaching violin, and a student asked me if they could start working on W2 or Mendelssohn, I'd want to first hear how well they play Bruch and Mozart and maybe Saint-Saens 3 or Vieuxtemps 4. So if you want to convince your teacher, maybe that's what you should do -- put Bruch up on your stand and totally kill it without breaking a sweat.

January 11, 2020, 4:29 PM · I wouldn't give either one of those to a student who wasn't ready. So the answer to your question is: play well enough to be ready for such repertoire.
January 11, 2020, 6:01 PM · Mary - yes! :) :)
January 11, 2020, 6:28 PM · I’m learning both Wieniawski 2 and Mendelssohn at the same time right now. But that was after having learned Bruch last semester and my professor wanting to push me more. And I had already learned Lalo (minus movements 3 and 5) and the first movements of Mozart 3 and 4. So yes I agree with everyone else. Play at least Bruch first before even thinking about either one and once you do that learn Wieniawski 2 first then Mendelssohn. I’m only doing both because of what I’ve already done, and my teacher is trying make up for lost time and get me to the next group of concertos before I graduate should I not stay here for my masters and go somewhere else. Saint Saens 3 can be done either before or after Mendelssohn. I have a friend who did W2, Mendelssohn, and now Saint Saens. But some do W2 and Saint Saens before Mendelssohn. Depends on you and your teacher’s opinion.
January 11, 2020, 9:12 PM · I think it's a matter of strengths and weaknesses. Wieniawski 2 is one of the handful of major concertos I hadn't yet learned, so I'm working on it now. It doesn't feel all that difficult. It is more overtly virtuosic than Mendelssohn, but Wieniawski's music all lies very comfortable in the hand -- i.e. it is highly violinistic.
January 12, 2020, 2:01 PM · Thanks for all the replies! Yes, I think I am ready, as I've been playing the violin for 10 years. Also, Mendelssohn is pretty awkward especially in the first movement, and is pretty transparent as well. Wieniawski 2 requires more technique, but only starts at the end. How would these compare to Saint-Saens 3 or Vieuxtemps 5?
January 12, 2020, 2:45 PM · None of them are "easy". Mendelssohn is "harder" but less showy. The Wieniawski #2 sounds better when played with brilliance and ease-not as a "student work".

Vieuxtemps 5 is in another technical level over both, and is also worth working on once the violinist is ready.
Wonderful violin music.

Saint-Saëns 3 is generally played before the Mendelssohn. Great music.

A "normal" sequence regarding *only* all of the aforementioned works would be Wieniawski 2, Saint-Saëns, Mendelssohn, Vieuxtemps 5-though standard sequences may not apply to some students, as was the case with Ms. Leong. The Vieuxtemps 4 & 5 are occasionally skipped altogether by some (sadly.)

I deem the Wieniawski 2 a beautiful work that should be performed more often, and hardly a "student piece".

(While I like the great pianist-composers' violin concertos, I disagree that pianists must by default compose "better music" than the very small sample of violinists-composers there is. The latter were just not as well-known for their compositions as much as for their playing. Much beautiful music is being ignored in my opinion, by only listening to "the important works".)


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