Are there any "big" pieces you don't like? As in to listen to or teach etc.?
I ask because I've recently found myself trying to myself to like the Brahms concerto. I don't dislike it, but I'd rather Wieniawski (either) or basically anything else. It just doesn't really do anything for me. How about you?
Tchaikovsky first movement, I personally feel like it is so repetitive and find myself wanting to stop around 5 minutes in
Landon, the last movement is even more repetitive!
The Tchaikovsky violin concerto irritates me. For that matter, I find most Tchaikovsky irritating, even though I love many of his contemporaries and many composers influenced by him. I think it's the amount of repetition.
Those are a few of my favorite things!
Andrew, I find Tchaikovsky uneven as a composer: The contrast between the first two movements of his 2nd piano concerto is a case in point - I would be very surprised if anyone guessed my preferences the wrong way round.
Tchaikovsky for me too - I'm not sure why. I'm neutral about the Brahms - not one of my favourite composers, but it is a very fine violin concerto after all. I find Bartok 2 somewhat uneven - the first movement is very satisfying, but I find the second and third not quite on the same level. But I keep trying - maybe one day I will 'get it'.
I hope no one roasts me.
Richard, I have never even attempted to listen to the third movement as I hated the first so much, though surprisingly I find myself loving the repetitive nature of the canzonetta, I feel like it fits more and is easier to make sound interesting.
Bruch Concerto No.1 I don't actively dislike it, but I don't find it very engaging.
For me with Brahms, I have enjoyed about 90% of everything else I have listened to of his (I adore his chamber music, for example). I also agree with Peter about Bartok 2: the first movement is one of my all time favourite movements, but the other 2 don't really stack up well.
Landon - yes, I agree about the Tchaikovsky canzonetta, especially that lovely repetition where the woodwind decorate (weep over?) the melody. I loved this concerto as a youngster. I still like it but in a more balanced way.
To me, the key to appreciating the piece is finding something in the music that reflects the composer's inner "voice."
Sander I completely get what you're saying. But for me, the third movement of Brahms doesn't fir the other 2. I think thats what bothers me most
Yeah, Bruch 1
Bruch 2 should be played more. Bruch 1 is so boring.
I pretty much don't like anything by Sarasate.
3rd movement of the Brahms?....How about a Hungarian dance?
Bach S & P
Hangarian Dances are great, yeah. Love them
As an orchestral player, the Great C Monster (Schubert 9)
I hear you Malcolm. One of the ‘Great’ technique damagers of all time.
Malcom and Buri, we are playing that in my community orchestra at the moment. I really like it
Anybody else signing up for Beethoven's Grosse Fuge? it is just so disconcertingly aggressive and sometimes downright ugly.
When I was young, rebellious, and foolish, I did not like too much/appreciate certain hackneyed works that are truly masterpieces. Now devoid of youth-if not the other characteristics-I have come to love every masterwork, and am able do so without ignoring the other beautiful works that IMHO are so often unjustly neglected. One can stand for the "underdog" works without denying oneself the high art of the commonly regarded great concertos of the repertoire.
Not for me, at least. My dislike towards Lalo SE has nothing to do with it being a student concerto at all; just feel unrelated when listening to it. On the other hand, I actually like Bruch.
You are in good company., Menuhin also never seemed to be able to get his head round the Lalo despite being one of the greatest heads that ever existed.
The Lalo I adore. I just love the Spanishness of it. I feel Tchaik second movement has a bit of Spanish flavor as well
Korngold. Can’t stand it.
The first movement of the Bruch has no melodies. It's just a bunch of noodling.
I disagree: That first movement of Bruch 1 is not in serious concerto first movement form. It is more of an introduction, a door opener and a very good opportunity for the solo violin to introduce itself, better in that regard than most concertos that start with a long orchestral exposition. It also has plenty of melody, just not in a strictly periodic, songlike way. Following such a first movement the adagio, which is just wonderful, becomes the main movement of the piece. It is the last movement that does not live up to the first two.
It's okay, but it's no Accolay ;-)
Not telling. What I like and dislike is of no consequence in the great scheme of things
Sorry, but what a depressing topic.
Buri, actually my favorite concertos are Bruch 1 and Lalo SE, with a particular like to how they are paced. I can feel like I’m moving through the piece and each moment feels like it has meaning.
Christian, Elgar composed his cello concerto in 1919, shortly after the end of WW1. It reflects in many ways the general reaction of people in the aftermath of that dreadful conflict. Melodrama? - perhaps, in the best sense of the word; but certainly not "hokey".
I think how one feels about particular pieces of music depends on their individual life experiences. It can also depend on how they have heard the music played.
I find that my feelings about a work can change a lot when I study it. I often found the Beethoven boring until I studied it myself, for instance, and now I really love it.
Andrew, since you just mentioned the possibility of transforming Beethoven VC into a piano version, I actually looked up and such arrangements exist.
Beethoven himself transcribed his VC into a piano concerto, apparently at the request of his publisher Clementi, who was worried by the poor reception the VC was getting - not helped by its near-disastrous first performance. The piano concerto transcription is catalogued as piano concerto no 6 op 61a. Here is a live and unedited performance:
Mavis, it wasn't a "possibility." I had heard it as a piano concerto (I think it is hidden within my iTunes library) and listened to as much of it as I could tolerate.
Got it. Unlike the piano arrangement of Brahms' VC by Dejan Lazic (which I don't like... it sounds zillion times better on a violin), I think the piano arrangement of Beethoven's VC sounds amazing.
I really like Robert Schumann’s arrangement of his cello concerto for the violin and orchestra. I think it works very well for the violin.
When I was in college (and grad school), I use to love listening to "bad" cheap recordings of major symphonies and concertos. Looking back, I only wish I could have sounded like those recordings.
I don't think I can be convinced to like the Tchaikovsky violin concerto. I've heard it live 8 times (I've heard no other violin concerto live more than three times), one of them from the viola section, and I've studied the score in detail. I still find it barely tolerable.
I think the Tchaikovsky is lovely-as I hinted at above, I learned to better appreciate it as an older musician.
I just went to see Karen Gomyo play the Tchaikovsky yesterday. While I really enjoyed her sound, I didn't hear a very cohesive rendering. I think the concerto, and Tchaikovsky in general, needs a lot of shaping and finessing to make it cohere, since Tchaikovsky often just restates themes, and piles melodies on melodies, without developing the themes that much, or having an underlying organization that is easy to intuit.
I've never gone out of my way to hear any concerto -- I'm generally much more interested in symphonies than concerti. In fact, I've heard the Tchaikovsky concerto far more often than any other in spite of some efforts to avoid it!
Ditto, except that I mostly listen to baroque, Prok and Bartok, just for the rhyme! On piano when I was young the big works were the limited number of concerti by Beethoven, Grieg, Rachmaninov and Tchaik, and it was way too easy to OD on those unless you were a big fan, so I haven't bothered very much with the violin equivalents, apart from Pag and Prok, and it's been a long time since I bothered with Pag. I asked a couple of years back for suggestions and bought CDs of a couple of dozen 'big' pieces, but I've only listened to them once each (The Bartok concerti passed me by, so I've just ordered Ehnes, including the viola one). Monty Python spoiled the Tchaik violin for me. I could post a Youtube link, but it's really not as funny now as it was when I was 12!
my answer is "no" :-)
“The 4th symphony really grew on me despite having some of those same qualities, but I recall a totally electric and organic rendering a few years ago at the Colorado Music Festival (I imagine Mary Ellen was playing in that very concert) that totally blew me away.“
Mahler didn't compose a violin concerto (did he?), so I'm thankful it's not there to add to the list proposed by OP Jake.
Elise: Thank you for the kind words.
I really like all the "major works", but I agree with many of us that the finales are a bit of a let down. After a magnificent landscape in the first movement, a tender love song in the second, the finale brings us down to earth with a bump! At least we won't leave the concert hall in a transe and get run over by a bus..
I really shouldn't be reading this thread because I get baffled and depressed when someone lists a piece I truly love as their most hated. There isn't much I dislike, maybe Berlioz Harold in Italy is the only thing that makes me rush to the radio to turn it off. I hope I haven't baffled and depressed some lover of that piece.
It's not a "major work" but "Jazz Legato" by Leroy Anderson is absolutely wretched.
Now we are getting somewhere!
I also can’t stand most Shostakovich symphonies. They sound like circus music to me.
Are they too in-tents for you?
I like Shost, but I bought the jazz suites recently and they were surprisingly bad except for the one well-known movement.
My parents weren't musicians, but they were classical music lovers. I grew up in a house where I was always encouraged to find something positive in every piece of music, no matter the genre or the composer. I never remember my parents "hating" any classical music. I learned that there was always something worth listening for, if you take the time to do it.
Yesterday I listened briefly to the three Bartok concerti (two violin, one viola). I was disappointed by what seemed to me to be unnecessary violinistic clichés.
If you make technical novelty the criterion for a concerto you'll have to dismiss a whole lot of concertos, in fact almost all of them, starting with Vivaldi a-minor!
12 tones, 4 strings and 4 fingers - WTH do you want?
Wait, Gordon, so Prokofiev doesn't use rapid rising arpeggios and scales? Maybe you're talking about the other Prokofiev...
I'm sorry, but I just can't listen to Schumann's Violin Concerto in D minor.
For a long while I didn't like the Mendelssohn concerto - I always found it whiny. The last few years, however, I've got into it.
On October 10, each finalist will perform either the Brahms or Schumann Violin Concerto with NDR Radiophilharmonie and conductor Andrew Manze,
I love the Schumann concerto, but I think it needs a really deliberate conception (And the Kulenkampff version where he transposes the violin into all kinds of different registers is just AWFUL - Every change he makes is for the worse). I think Szeryng's rendition with Dorati is just the ideal version, and Menuhin's ain't too bad either.
Schumann was quite an unique composer, misunderstood by even his famous friends, especially during those last years of his life. Joachim could have done better, but we cannot change history. Forget the "crazy Schumann" narrative, and enjoy his works as they are-wish Joachim and friends would have been more fair to him rather than "help/protect him" by suppressing his works.
To hate a work of art is harsh. To dislike one (somewhat privately, maybe) is, however, to exercise your right to develop your own interests and tastes. Schumann ('the wrong shoe'?) is a composer whose work calls for more effort than some others.
..and the Pastoral symphony, and the C major mass: four serene, radiant works.
The politics of artists is an interesting topic.
Adrian - good additions, and I like your adjective choices.
I despise bigots, but Wagner's music is often beautiful. Definitely prefer Strauss as a violinist, but Tannhauser-which is likely "conservative Wagner" musically speaking and one he was apparently dissatisfied with-is utterly beguiling from beginning to end (I like the Dresden version more).
Yes, the problem with the first Marxist's attitude is, just how much do you have to research something before deciding if it is fit for your patronage or not?
I believe that your primary focus as a performing artist playing any given composition is not to use it as an excuse to express how you feel and impress an audience with your brilliance. Your primary focus is on sharing your perception of the composer's vision with your audience, and that should certainly include what that has touched within you. If you feel strongly negative about a composer's politics (which is certainly the case with some that have been mentioned) or other downsides, then don't choose to play anything by them.