Wieniawski concerto n°2

September 26, 2020, 1:30 AM · Hi,

It's been two weeks that I'm working on Wieniawski n°2 with my teacher. I have only worked on the two first pages and I'm now going to work on the two last pages ( 1st mov ). Is there any background/context/anecdotes about this concerto and about the composer?
Also, is there any "traps" in the first mov?


Replies (13)

September 26, 2020, 1:17 PM · Let me Google that for you: LINK

You'll note that there's plenty of information about the composer, who was a famed virtuoso and composer.

The first movement isn't especially hard. There are a couple of passages in staccato, and one somewhat difficult chromatic descent.

September 26, 2020, 6:15 PM · I thought Wieniawskis were those little sausages that come in a tin.
Edited: September 26, 2020, 6:34 PM · The only thing more annoying than someone posting a banal question that they should have searched for beforehand is someone posting "Let Me Google That For You" in response.

Edit: Clearly I'm triggered! Carry on and don't mind me.

Practice your passagework slow and make sure the left hand is in tune before you worry about the fancy bowings. You should do stuff detache and various forms of legato before making it more complicated with the right hand. Mostly ain't nothin' to it but to do it!

Edited: September 27, 2020, 10:19 AM · On the other hand, we've seen plenty of threads with "I've been assigned to do a report on Heifetz -- does anyone know of any good resources?"

And we're, like, "Try Wikipedia."

Notice the very stylish use of the word "like" just now.

Edited: September 27, 2020, 10:57 AM · "The only thing more annoying than someone posting a banal question that they should have searched for beforehand is someone posting "Let Me Google That For You" in response."

Why stop there? Even more annoying is someone being "triggered" and posting about that.

"any "traps" in the first mov?"

Clearly there are, which you've triggered by asking.

Edited: September 27, 2020, 11:25 AM · "Traps" for some people are the fingered octaves at the beginning and the staccato passages. In performances, students can get overly anxious about those and they lose their concentration for the rest of the piece.

Assuming you are ready to play it, it's okay if you find Wieniawski harder than other people say it's supposed to be. A friend has observed that some hands are better suited for Wieniawski and others are better suited for Paganini. She said that Paganini Concerto #1 was easily playable for her, but she still has trouble spots in Wieniawski.

September 27, 2020, 12:37 PM · Frieda's observation is extremely interesting. What underlies that difference? I generally find Wieniawski reasonably straightforward because of the absence of large extensions and the fact that almost everything seems to lie pretty conveniently in the hand, whereas Paganini is a giant pain in the *ss because it feels like everything requires stretching.
Edited: September 27, 2020, 2:39 PM · I've heard a couple of people saying that. Their fingers were unusually flexible and fast, but they weren't always the most efficient in the left hand. My friend's left hand looked a little like Ray Chen’s when she played. Perhaps having that flexibility and velocity, plus a tendency to break the rules, helps with Paganini stretches but would get you into trouble with Wieniawski unless you practice more carefully.
September 28, 2020, 4:16 AM · As others have pointed out, the fingered octaves are usually the trickiest thing, but they're not that treacherous as far as fingered octaves go, just be patient with them. It's important to make sure you're not gripping with your left thumb. That's a common tendency but it'll make your fingers press down harder which will make the whole passage much harder to play and could lead to frustration and possibly pain. I specifically remember my teacher making me play it without touching my thumb to the neck. I didn't like doing this, but it did make my fingers learn how to do it without pressing down hard, so it was worth it.
Edited: September 28, 2020, 11:18 AM · Paul: "And we're, like, "Try Wikipedia."

Notice the very stylish use of the word "like" just now."

Good effort! The comma usage, however, is unidiomatic. In this case, "like" is actually serving in its verb form ("be like") used as a quotative - you could also possibly think of it as an elliptical construction indicating "and we were [saying things like]." Since you wouldn't put commas in the middle of a gerund, and you wouldn't put commas around the phrase you're using it as ellipsis for, you don't need the commas here. Keep practicing and paying attention to the details and I'm sure you'll quickly get the hang of these nuances. Or, alternatively, you could stop making digs at other people's grammar and speech patterns in this forum.

Re: Wieniawski, I think the main "trick" in the first movement is the up-bow staccato. I never really felt completely comfortable with that.

Edited: September 28, 2020, 11:57 AM · Irene, the commas are meant to convey the ubiquitous pauses when such a phrase is spoken. I thought there was a name for commas used in that manner, but I can't remember what it is, and I could be misremembering entirely. But I'm sorry to disappoint: It wasn't intended as a dig at anyone on this forum but rather at an entire generation of committed likers. Again you have underestimated me.
September 28, 2020, 12:16 PM · I imagine Wieniawski must have had an amazing staccato, since it shows up in just about all of his compositions and it must have been his go-to parlor trick. :-)
October 1, 2020, 1:21 PM · Yes, I effectively noticed these fingered octaves.

Thanks for your answers !

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