Havanaise vs Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso

September 25, 2021, 2:59 AM · Hello, everyone!

I have the choice of playing either Havanaise or Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso. Both appear to be matched evenly in difficulty. Havanaise has the speed, key, and the tenths. IRC has the arpeggios and a variety of bowing techniques.

I find them both to sound great, can't really make a judgement by that. Can anyone share their experiences/suggestions with these pieces?

Replies (10)

September 25, 2021, 10:13 AM · In my opinion Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso is more difficult than Havanaise. They are both fun to play.
September 25, 2021, 10:58 AM · Rondo Capriccioso is leagues beyond Havanise in terms of playability. I've spoken to several colleagues who are way more scared of it than they are of Tzigane, Campanella, or other showpieces. The staccato, the memory minefield of the E major arpeggios (3rd page), the coordination on the last page - it ain't easy.

Start with Havanaise, continue with the B minor concerto, and down the road, dedicate diligent practice to I&RC

September 26, 2021, 1:52 AM · I&RC is much, much more difficult than the Havanaise.

(That said, I've now run across plenty of people posting videos of I&RC played substantially below tempo and with significant inaccuracies. It's clear that I&RC is often taught in circumstances that seem like the teacher's goal is to get the student through most of the notes at something that sounds semi-quick but is far below an actual performance tempo. But in that case, it's puzzling to me why they don't teach something easier.)

September 26, 2021, 10:13 PM · Lydia teachers do the same thing with Mozart concertos and other stuff. I've been on the receiving end of that.
September 27, 2021, 11:39 AM · I love both pieces and have a hard time picking one. IRC does have some trickier passages, but the Havanaise puts the player’s sense of panache to the test.

One thing I’d mention that could help in choosing is that the Havanaise has a good piano accompaniment. I don’t think IRC works as well without orchestral accompaniment. If you’re planning to perform the piece, it’s worth considering which one will fit with the accompaniment available to you.

September 27, 2021, 1:10 PM · Those chromatic thirds kind of bump Havanaise into a different category. Or is there a little-known hack for solving that problem?
Edited: September 27, 2021, 11:49 PM · In terms of the audience wow factor, I have found IRC to be the more favored of the two. The virtuosity in IRC is more than the Habanera, and the arpeggio passage that is on the last two pages always makes people smile (if played correctly). Also, it was used in some popular TV show that I forgot the name of.
Edited: September 28, 2021, 12:53 AM · "Those chromatic thirds kind of bump Havanaise into a different category. Or is there a little-known hack for solving that problem?"

I haven't played the Habanera, but if those thirds are anything like the ossia chromatic thirds passage in Paganini Concerto No. 1's 6th page (which I have played), you just use 1 and 3, adjusting by widening (down) or making your fingers closer (up) as you go. Or, if it's the vibrato-glissando, just do vibrato with only the forwards motion, moving your wrist slightly each time. By vibrato-glissando, I mean the one seen in the 4th page of the Wieniawski 2nd Concerto (2 octaves from D-D, you will recognize it).

September 28, 2021, 10:55 AM · Mike - not to be a stickler for detail, but the Wieniawski glissando is actually D -> F.

And oh man - if the conductor + orchestra is lagging in that bar, that scale feels interminable.

September 28, 2021, 11:16 AM · Oh s*it I forgot. I haven’t played that garbage in a long time. Kidding, obviously. I actually like Wieniawski.

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