Favorite pieces for violin practice

October 3, 2017, 8:21 AM · I heard Passacaglia's duet for violin and viola for the first time a few weeks ago, and I really like it. I would like to know about your personal favorites for violin practice (other than Bach, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Vivaldi, Schubert)... Simply interested in exploring new stuff that I might not have heard yet. Thanks in advance!

Replies (23)

Edited: October 3, 2017, 10:45 AM · I like to play music from movies. Recently a pianist and I played the theme song to the Thomas Crown Affair. In terms of classical music, I like to listen and play Fritz Kreisler's violin arrangements of different works.
October 3, 2017, 10:50 AM · I love Franz Drdla's little salon pieces, very Hungaro-Viennese and similar to some of Kreisler's. He wrote more than 200, lots of which have recently appeared om imslp.org.
October 3, 2017, 11:40 AM · What is the hardest concerto you have been able to learn well? It's easier to make recommendations if I have a target to aim for.
October 3, 2017, 11:56 AM · When I'm just messing around after having a few beers it's usually the Schoenberg or Ernst's "Last Rose of Summer."
October 3, 2017, 1:45 PM · I like to play random notes off the top of my head (improvising).
October 3, 2017, 2:05 PM · How do you manage playing any notes, random or not, with the violin on top of your head?
October 3, 2017, 2:13 PM · I like to improvise and play random notes.
October 3, 2017, 3:49 PM · Darn. Just when it was getting interesting.
October 3, 2017, 6:20 PM · I can almost convince myself I am playing "the last rose" after a couple of beers...
Edited: October 4, 2017, 9:00 AM · Even this guy has a tough time playing on top of his head-


October 7, 2017, 12:03 AM · Hello, thanks everyone for your responses!

I'm a total beginner. Just had four lessons so far. I'm still struggling with Twinkle twinkle, let alone classical music. I was wondering what you all play for practice so I can at least listen to those and develop my intonation... Since I'm new to the whole thing, I also wanted to know the various personal favorites of people for playing on the violin. Sort of giving me a future aim and help me to stay motivated.

October 7, 2017, 1:39 AM · @Leonard It's for listening.
@Paul Schoenberg was very different from the classical music that I usually hear and I liked it! Whose version of "the last rose" do you prefer hearing? Vengerov or Hillary Hahn? I'm not a good judge myself to differentiate between the two..
@Ella Speaking of "improvising", do you like jazz?
Edited: October 7, 2017, 1:56 PM · Hello Shiruma, you may want to listen to the Suzuki CD's. They could really help you with intonation and rhythm on music you are currently learning.

One of the wonderful things about violin is that there is a multitude of music that you can enjoy listening to and learn one day. I recommend exploring as much as possible and seeing what interests you. I have currently been listening to a lot of string quartet music. Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and more can be quite invigorating. I am currently working on Mozart Concerto 3, Braham Hungarian Dance 2, Bach Courante (from Cello Suite), and Massenet Meditation. I am a returner after many years, and trying to regain lots of lost ground.

October 7, 2017, 5:56 PM · Ah, listening. These are some of my personal favorites: Chausson Poeme; Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola; Bach Double violin concerto (2nd movement in particular); Brahms Concerto and the Brahms Double Concerto for violin and cello; Prokofiev concerto #2; Faure violin sonata #1; any Brahms violin sonata.


October 9, 2017, 7:50 AM · Hello Timothy, thanks for the recommendations. I just attended a chamber music performance by this Italian group called Quartetto di Cremona. They had played Haydn string quartet op. 20 no. 1, Verdi string quartet in E minor and Beethoven string quartet op. 132!
Actually, I'm learning the violin using the Suzuki method so the CD's are a part of my syllabus right now. I'll check out the others you mentioned! :)
October 9, 2017, 7:53 AM · Hi Mary Ellen, I would love to check out your favorite pieces. I like Prokofiev's concerto too! Haven't heard anything by Faure yet... Special thanks for the mentions!
Edited: October 9, 2017, 1:26 PM · I play segments from the first movements of Wieniawski No. 2 and Bruch No. 1 before actually diving into the practice (I.e. after scales). If I’m bored and in the mood for something slow, I play Kabalevsky Improvisato or Bach Sonata No. 1 Adagio.
October 10, 2017, 1:02 AM · Thanks Cassio Chae for sharing the names with me! I'll look them up. Bruch's no. 1 is also a favorite of mine.
October 11, 2017, 12:12 AM · Famousely, Bach.
Edited: October 11, 2017, 12:17 AM · I really like Saint-Saens Violin Sonata No.1 (Op. 75).

Something about the very beginning sucks me in.

October 11, 2017, 6:37 AM · Hello Michael, just checked it. Oh.. I really like that! And Op. 40 (Danse macabre) is one of my favorites!
October 11, 2017, 8:20 PM · Yes it's quite enjoyable. Saint-Saens is very under-rated.

If you want a more 'all around' and not just violin-centric listening list, the London Philharmonic released a CD set titled 'The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music' and I find it has a nice and diverse list of pieces. I like to use it as a primer for new listeners.

October 13, 2017, 5:23 AM · Oh anytime! I would love to give that a listen. Thank you!

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