Substantial violin duets?
Any thoughts on violin duets worth listening to for a semi-serious event? It is a university convocation honoring some mega donors-- there needs to be some kind of processional and recessional, and a bit in the middle of everything where there is nothing but music.
I was thinking the Handel/Halvorsen duo for beginning and end. It is enough of a march to be adaptable to people walking in and out. If need be, it can be repeated ad nauseum, and sections can be excised, the recessional can start partway in, etc.
The worry is getting something worth sitting through in the middle. Violin/viola is easy-- starting with Mozart. But two violins? Some of Chevalier de St George is OK, but it doesn't hold up to much scrutiny. Bartok would need a particular atmosphere that probably won't apply here.
Ideas and disagreements welcome.
I would suggest Mazas, op 36 (I think). Its sort of quartety (not sure how to describe)
Spohr, he wrote tons of violin duets. I particularly like op.67 no.2
Telemann Canonic Duos. They’re lovely, as long as both violinists can count.
Bach of course. Nobody will miss the orchestra
There is a transcription of Bach's 2 part inventions for vln/vla
In addition to the Canonic Sonatas, Telemann wrote Sonatas for Two Flutes or Violins TWV 40:101-106. These are standard repertoire for recorder players, but I've met few violinists who are familiar with them.
In addition to a further vote for the Telemann canons, I'd suggest Boccherini op. 5. There are also some nice duos by Simon LeDuc, but I can't give details as my copy is packed away somewhere. They are 'genuine' duos, not stuff in parallel thirds as is the way with many French composers of the era.
...and the duos by Jean-Marie Leclair.
I have a serious duo in 2 movements which I always like to share, not exactly substantial timewise though...
The Spohr is seriously chuncky stuff - not the sort of music you pull out at the end of a lesson for a sightread, and more suited for concerts. Telemann Gulliver Suite is fun in concert, and you can insert short extracts of Gulliver's Travels in between the movements. Andreas Romberg duets are completely unknown if you want something unusual.
Nothing to add, but... why would you want to switch from Vln/Vla (Haendel/Halvorsen Passacaglia) to Vln/Vln? Especially if you think it's easier to find suitable Vln/Vla duets?
Shostakovich, Five Pieces for Two Violins. I'm not sure if these are doable without piano, but they're lovely.
Border Crossings, composed for Concerts for Compassion, for 2 violins. Performed by Mariella Haubs and Jocelyn Zhu. If anyone enjoys, the score is available on my website. www.stangrillcomposer.com
Thanks, all! Some great suggestions to track down.
I also thought about Telemann. My book says: Sonatas for two flutes or two violins op.2.
Spohr wrote sets of duos really meant for concert performance by him and a peer. I am familiar with the three duos opus 67. On YouTube you find Perlman and Zukerman play these, for example. The first duo even has tenths!
The Perlman/Zukerman videos are a good source, in general. And on IMSLP, I found some 2-part Invention transcriptions.
What does "Substantial" mean in the context of your question? The term is subjective so it only means what you want it to mean. The responses are equally subjective to the skills, talents and training of the respondents.
There are so few good violin duets that any feedback is welcomed. I am still finding out the exact nature of the event. It will be a moderately sophisticated audience but in an unconventional setting not completely devoted to music.
My brother and his wife own Hegeduduok Violin Duos, published in 1976 in Budapest. Contents are short, dating from 16th to early 19th century, including composers as obscure as Praetorius, Couperin, Telemann, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert ... Transcribing for violin and cello is on my to-do list (and might remain there if lockdown disappears completely).
Gaetano Pugnani wrote some duets that sound very nice.
I think "substantial" in this context means:
That's a nice definition, Paul, succinct and objective!
I really like James's duets. Those sound like a lot of fun to play.
I'll second that, Raymond! Stanley's 'Border Crossings' too. I also want to have a hunt for violin/violin transcriptions of some of the two-part inventions.
James Woodrow-- do you know where to find Romberg's music? Seems to be very much out of print and circulation.
Hi. IMSLP 'Andreas Romberg' - go to collections and the duets are there. A not very well known composer. A couple of concertos and sonata recordings out there. I think I was the first person to play the complete accompanied sonatas.
What Opus are the solo sonatas?