I noticed that many people learn Mozart violin concertos early on in their musical career, before learning romantic concertos (like Bruch and Mendelssohn), then go back and learn another Mozart Concerto afterwards. If Mozart Concertos are easier technically than romantic concertos, why do so many people go back to do more Mozart afterwards?
One reason is that Mozart demands maturity in technique and interpretation, because in his music, although perhaps superficially straightforward and relatively "easy", lack of an absolute command of technique and thought will be only too obvious in performance.
You don't learn pieces of increasing difficulty and go forward in time chronologically - that's not how it works. I choose pieces to learn that I want to play!
Mozart concertos are much harder than they are thought to be by many students *and* teachers, unfortunately, so they are frequently assigned before the student is really ready. The issue is that, other than the cadenzas, much of the difficulty in Mozart comes from the right hand, not the left, and so isn't recognized as difficult by the less experienced. They also demand a level of musical sophistication that is not always respected.
"why do so many people go back to do more Mozart afterwards?"
They are not easy at all, no matter if it's No. 1 or No. 5. A teacher can assign them, but with the understanding that the student will eventually come back them it as a more complete and technically capable musician. I agree with Ms. Mary Ellen that they are generally underestimated and much harder than "they look"-also, it may be easier to play some romantic repertoire in comparison, as the style requires utmost precision and little to no room for error.
No. 3 in G major is easier than 4 (D) or 5 (A). So it's common to do 3 earlier on, for pedagogical reasons, and then to learn 4 or 5 later on, to be played in a much more polished way.
If a teacher were to assign a Mozart concerto too early, #1 or 2 would be a better choice. They are not easier, but are less familiar, and an audition panel would appreciate not hearing another mediocre version of #3,4,5.
I concur with everyone above. However with the common belief that Mozart concerti are “easy” when they are in fact quite difficult musically why don’t more people use Mozart for college auditions? Surely an impeccable Mozart 4 or 5 would be more impressive than a shoddy Bruch or Mendelssohn right?
As someone who's hopped back and forth between Mozart concerti and various other works, Mozart is definitely not an easy piece by any means as compared to a romantic concerto. His work commands a sense of control and execution that seems much simpler on the sheet music.
Kids need to learn repertoire from all periods of music. In my experience, most kids have learned a ton of Baroque and a sampling of the easier Romantic concertos (including student concertos like Seitz and Accolay).
Another reason you’ll find people working on Mozart is that it’s required for major competitions and professional orchestra auditions - for the reasons everyone has mentioned above.
Non-string-playing conductors at the youth and community level are much less likely to recognize how hard a Mozart concerto is to play well. And other than the cadenza (which often won't be heard in an audition), there's basically no opportunity for virtuosity, little ability to demonstrate the ability to play up in the stratosphere or to handle difficult chromatic passages, etc.
Along Frieda's lines: I won my high school's senior concerto competition with Kabalevsky whereas our concertmaster presented Mozart (don't recall which). Regardless of our respective abilities, there was also the matter of the orchestra being able to play - I mean not butcher - the piece. (At some point in the last 5-10 years, the concert CD surfaced and I found our Kabalevsky to be...pretty terrible.) To Lydia's point, if memory serves, the judging panel (for that and pit orchestra and other collaborative things) would have been the orchestra conductor and other music/drama/arts teachers, none of whom were violinists.
I did Mozart 3 and 4 a few years ago, then played a few romantic concertos, and now my teacher gave me a few options for my next concerto and I think I want to learn Mozart 5! This thread convinced me that it was the right piece to pick, thank you.
I remember that my childhood teacher used to always send me to competitions with flashy-seeming repertoire. But he sent me to a youth symphony audition with a violinist conductor with (an extremely clean and polished) Mozart 4. :-)
Wow, that is so cool! How did that youth symphony audition go, Lydia?
I "grew up" with Mozart 3 & 5 (M3 & M5) because that was the music my father had in his collection - so those were what I played first right after middle school.
I got into the youth symphony with Mozart 4 despite most of the other kids playing Sibelius, so that worked out well. (The seating audition was separate and excerpt-based, so it was a reasonably safe choice to choose a non-virtuosic concerto.)
The third movement of M2 is very odd. There are so many theme changes it sounds like an opera's overture.
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