Difficulty of Sarasate Carmen Fantasy
I was wondering at what point in the typical concerto progression do students normally learn the Sarasate Carmen Fantasy? Is it typically learnt only when students are on the big Romantic concertos like Brahms and Sibelius?
Also, in terms technical difficulty, how does it stand in comparison to other showpieces like Ravel's Tzigane, Wieniawski's Variations on an Original Theme etc?
Thanks in advance! :)
Sarasate Carmen Fantasy is not part of any student progression. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't already able to learn something like Sibelius well and play it at a high level.
Thanks so much for the input! Does this mean that the Sarasate is much harder than Saint-Saens' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso then?
Yes, it is harder. How "much" harder depends on the violinist's strengths and weaknesses. Past discussions here have left me with the impression that some people underestimate how hard Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso is by a fair margin.
In my experience, I&RC tends to be taught at roughly Bruch and similar first-tier Romantic concerto level (for instance, taught after the Lalo).
Gee, I thought the Introduction and Largo Doloroso was easy ...
Much of Carmen Fantasy is not terribly hard if you are already at the "big" concerto level, though the last movement is harder. In my son's program, they tend to play it after playing a bunch of the standard rep concertos (Bruch, Mendelssohn, Saint Saens, Lalo, Vieuxtemps, etc.) but before playing Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, etc. I would say that it is definitely harder than Intro and Rondo Capriccioso, but maybe a little easier than Tzigane, though they aren't entirely comparable, as they require very different techniques.
Thanks for the advice everyone!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but after looking at the scores of both pieces, I have this feeling that the Sarasate lies better under the hand than the Saint- Saens
Yes I have, but I was thinking of the earlier parts of the piece where some parts possibly are not as difficult as they sound
You can find not-so-difficult parts in most difficult pieces. That doesn't mean the piece itself is less difficult. Most music is "lumpy" with regard to technical challenges.
Although Carmen starts virtuosic and doesn't really get any less so. It just starts virtuosic in single notes and ends virtuosic in thirds.
@Mary hmm that's a good point
@Lydia you mentioned first-tier romantic concertos -- does that include Wieniawski 2 and Dvorak?
Wieniawski 2 is first-tier (along with Bruch 1, etc.) Dvorak is definitely second tier; it is significantly harder than Wieniawski 2 et.al.
Ah I see, thanks