Mozart no.3 violin concerto

Edited: January 12, 2020, 5:04 PM · I love this concerto and was wondering if anyone has played it. If so, how long did it take? Mainly focusing on the 1st mvt.
Edit: Aplogies in making the confusion, but I am aware that I shouldn't play it as I'm not at the level yet. It's just such a beautiful concerto and I wanted to ask the question to those who have played it. Sorry for the misunderstanding but thanks for the comparison, its really helpful! Or dare I say inSEITZful...Yes I do again apologise.

Replies (20)

Edited: January 11, 2020, 3:05 PM · I have played it. The first movement takes about 5 minutes.

Learning it, that's another matter. If you have prepared well by first learning other repertoire (two or three Handel Sonatas, Bach A Minor Concerto -- all three movements, Fiocco Allegro, and Beethoven Romance Op. 40 would be essential, in my opinion, also three octave Flesch or Galamian scales and arpeggios at least G through D major), all to a performance standard (clean, in tune, up to tempo), then you should be able to learn the first movement of Mozart 3 in a few months. Note that none of the preparatory literature that I mentioned has any double stops so I suggest you also ask your teacher what will help you prepare that part of your technique, such as the study books by Trott or Whistler, as well as double-stop-rich repertoire such as the D-minor or B-minor solo Bach Sarabande movements -- they are very hard but you need to have some skill with double stops otherwise the cadenza will give you a lot of trouble. Just take the D minor Sarabande very slow, a short section at a time, and make sure your teacher hears it every week. When I was your age, I could sort-of play the movement, but I could not play the Franko cadenza because I didn't have any preparation with double-stops. And trust me: The Flesch cadenza is harder still.

January 12, 2020, 9:00 AM · Mozart 3 and 5 were the first things I played after the Handel sonatas. I think I was 14. I no longer had a violin teacher although I did take up cello with lessons from a very accomplished professional cellist at that age and that continued my musical education as I continued to study and play both instruments.

At the time these were things I could sight read so what I had to learn was how to express what was there (or what I found there). I have memorized virtually no entire composition in the 81 years I've been playing violin - so if by "how long did it take?" you mean how long to memorize, I have no idea.

January 12, 2020, 9:21 AM · I learned Mozart 3 (with Franko cadenza) after an array of intermediate repertoire that included the Handel Sonatas, Bach A minor, Haydn G major, some Viotti concertos, DeBeriot 9, and some Kreisler. It took me a few months, and it was followed by yet more intermediate repertoire.

My teacher taught me the Beethoven F-major Romance alongside Mozart 4, a few years later, after I'd done a few Romantic concertos.

January 12, 2020, 10:06 AM · Seitz to Mozart is quite a jump and not one I would recommend.
January 12, 2020, 10:32 AM · My older one played Mozart 3 very late (age 14 after also playing Mozart 4 and 5) and it took him about a month to learn the whole concerto, plus a little extra time to write cadenzas for all the movements. My youngest is going to learn it later this year -- for reference, she has basically finished Suzuki Books 1-7 and has already played Haydn concerto, Bach a minor, and is currently playing Accolay concerto. I would recommend at minimum learning Haydn first -- it is basically an easier version of the same style.
January 12, 2020, 11:31 AM · Yes ... my list should have included Haydn G Major and Accolay.
Edited: January 13, 2020, 9:51 AM · It’s not too hard technically but is harder musically than the Vivaldi or Seitz that you learnt.
Edit: I am not saying Mozart is easier than Vivaldi or Seitz, just saying it’s not too extreme in technique. (If it was as hard as some other pieces technically I would never be able to play it:)
Edited: January 12, 2020, 8:36 PM · I always get a little irritated when people say Mozart is on the easier side technically but "harder musically" because, often someone who is at the stage where they're considering doing their first Mozart concerto probably doesn't really know what that means in a practical sense.

What it means is that Seitz is going to sound like Seitz (and, to a lesser extent, Vivaldi will sound like Vivaldi) if you basically lay down the notes in the right order. Mozart is not going to sound like Mozart unless it's extremely clean and the phrasing is done just so. And in the end, those are only partly "musical" issues. Your teacher can show you how to taper your phrases -- but can you do it reliably? Getting Mozart to sound right is ultimately a technical problem, so you just need a lot higher-order skills with respect to intonation, clean shifting and string changes, rhythmic accuracy, and bow control, than you would need for Vivaldi, Haydn, Handel, or Seitz. The Beethoven Op. 40 Romance is likewise demanding in this respect but it also not as fast or as long and it does not have a double-stop-laden cadenza.

Vivaldi A Minor is not sufficient preparation for M3. Vivaldi "Summer" from the Four Seasons is more like it.

Edited: January 12, 2020, 9:20 PM · It took me a couple weeks to get the first movement more or less under my fingers in tempo and in appropriate style, but not polished at all and definitely not memorized -- but I didn't try to play it until last year, 19 years into playing string instruments. (I picked up the viola after the Vivaldi A minor and switched almost completely to viola after the Bach double, so I worked on Mozart 3 only as an exercise in re-familiarizing myself with the violin.)
January 13, 2020, 2:38 AM · Before I got to Mozart I learned Haydn G major (all movements), Accolay, Bach E major (all movements), some Kreisler and Casadesus "Mozart", Adelaide concerto (again all movements).
January 13, 2020, 4:08 AM · The first movement of Mozart 3 is on the repertoire list for ABRSM diploma. It is relatively easy to play, but as others have said, to play it with the correct phrasing, and the correct deftness of bow, does take some time.

January 14, 2020, 3:00 PM · Hi,

Technically, Mozart is easy to play ... but musically, it's extremly hard.The bow's movements aren't easy in Mozart 3
For playing it at "student level", it will be one month .
For playing it at a " professional level", it'll take 1 month(if you've played it before) to an infinite amount of time!
I sincerly think that Bruch is easier that Mozart 3(in term of musicallity of course)


January 14, 2020, 4:55 PM · As many say, Mozart is easy to play when you are 10 and extremely hard when you are 20 and older. The more mature you are, the more nuance you find.
Edited: January 14, 2020, 5:40 PM · Mozart mentioned the concerto in his diary. I wonder if it was his favorite.

You can download the score from IMSLP for free (I don’t know if the autograph is there but that would be interesting to follow). I recommend reading about the period and listening to music by Mozart and his contemporaries.

January 15, 2020, 4:17 PM · Thanks for the replies and I will do!
Edited: January 15, 2020, 4:36 PM · Careful with the allusion to the "Strassburg" concerto. There are a bunch of opinions as to which popular dance tune this refers to, and some alternatives would make the 4th concerto the guilty party. One author says

Undoubtedly it was just IV Concert in D major, as he points out similarity of the mentioned episode
in the roundabout with musette in Carlo von’s Carnival Symphony Dittersdorf, entitled Ballo Strasburghese.

February 3, 2020, 9:11 AM · There are times I think I can play the Mozart concertos.
Then I look on YouTube to see great players performing these.
Back to the drawing board!
February 3, 2020, 2:20 PM · Yes, the literal technique for the Mozart concertos is less than that for the Tchaikovsky, Brahms, etc. Mozart tests for technical control of your musical intentions. There is a reason why even 1st-rate pro. orchestras often ask for a Mozart concerto at the opening round of an audition.
February 4, 2020, 11:14 AM · How long did it take me to learn?

I started studying it in 1996, and am still working on perfecting it. :)

The various Mozart concerti are ever-evolving and lifelong projects, for sure.

February 6, 2020, 5:22 PM · Jiya - if you email me at, I will send you a copy of the version that my teacher, Rene Benedetti, edited.

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