Third movements

May 30, 2020, 8:09 PM · I've seen countless discussions comparing concerti difficulty as a whole, but I'm curious to see how third movements rank. For example, I predict Wieniawski 2's 3rd movement is more technically difficult than Tchaikovsky's, even if Wieniawski 2 is considered the easier concerto as a whole. How would these concerti third movements rank in relative difficulty of one another?

Wieniawski 2
Tchaikovsky
Mendelssohn
Bruch
Saint Saens 3

and are these more difficult than, say, the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso?

Replies (4)

May 31, 2020, 12:41 AM · In another thread someone commented that violin concerto third movements always removed more than they added. I didn't say anything because the only third movements I could bring to mind were Pag 1's and Prok 2's (which I don't feel remove more than they add), and I'm more familiar with things like Mozart's oboe concerto.

My understanding was that Classical third movements should have a cheeky mood, not a presto mood, but when I saw Holliger play the Mozart live, he raced through the 3rd movement like there was no tomorrow, and I wonder if your question arises because people tend to play third movements too fast?

May 31, 2020, 11:31 AM · The general consensus of our family members for 3rd mvmts from easiest to hardest is Mendelssohn, Bruch, Saint Saens, Wieniawski, and Tchaikovsky. Bruch is harder than Mendelssohn because of the double stops. Tchaikovsky won over Wieniawski because it doesn't sit as well on the violin and just has more "stuff" in it. If you can get the bowstroke for Wieniawski and can do some upbow staccato, you are pretty much good to go.
Edited: May 31, 2020, 2:48 PM · Depends on the player.

A challenge with the 3rd movements is stamina. Because of that, I would rank Tchaikovsky as the most difficult on your list. It's hard for a lot of people to maintain momentum and keep their focus at 100% after playing the first and second movements.

May 31, 2020, 11:25 PM · Tchaikovsky third movement also has a lot of right-arm awkwardness that's quite tiring. Given that the first movement is already exhausting, by the time you get to the third you can have nothing left for it. I think it's significantly more difficult than the 3rd movement of Wieniawski 2 even without the endurance consideration.

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