Next concerto recommendation please

November 6, 2022, 11:45 PM · Hello,

I'm looking for recommendations on the next big Concertos to play after December for my daughter please. I guess the goal is to work toward Lalo 1st movement (she loves this piece) and Bruch :). Generally speaking she enjoys showy pieces like Berito no.9, Accolay, etc.

Pieces completed this fall or in-progress to complete by End of Dec.:

1. Beriot Concerto no.9 - 1st and 2nd mvmts - very well refined with good intepretation
2. Mozart Concerto 1 (wasn't easy since it was a completely different style - completed. Perhaps next summer she will try Mozart 3 or 5)
3. Bach Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004 Allemande & Gigue
4. Rode Caprice no.2

She also does other study pieces (Sevcik, Kreutzer), baroque sonata and show-pieces on the side to get exposures.


Replies (19)

Edited: November 7, 2022, 12:13 AM · Vat sez teacher?
November 7, 2022, 12:46 AM · Why not Lalo since she loves it?
November 7, 2022, 1:13 AM · “Mozart 3 or 5”

These aren’t equivalent; 5 is much more difficult. Suggest learning them in order: 3, 4, 5.

If she isn’t quite ready for Lalo, what about Kabalevsky? If that isn’t challenging enough, then Conus.

November 7, 2022, 6:39 AM · @Christian has asked the correct question. Her teacher is in the best position to help her choose a new concerto to try. That said, has she done any of the Bach concerti?
November 7, 2022, 7:18 AM · At that stage, my kids learned Kabalevsky -- and really enjoyed it! Bach E major, De Beriot Scene de Ballet, Viotti 22 or 23, and Mozart 3 were other pieces played around that time. If your kiddo struggles with classical style, you may also want to do a Haydn Concerto. The notes are easier, so you can work on style.
November 7, 2022, 11:17 AM · Another vote for Kabalevsky.
November 7, 2022, 10:10 PM · Thank you for your suggestions!

@Christian and @Tom - Her teacher is amazing but it has been a while since she did these repertoires. She's reviewing the materials. We are both looking at options right now for my daughter to listen to and decide on the next pieces.

@Bruce - For Lalo, we are not sure if she's ready for the 1st movement or perhaps the gap between Beriot no.9 and Lalo is a bit too high?

@Mary/@Susan/@Jean: Thank you for the suggestion on Kabalevsky, Conus, Bach E major, De Beriot Scene de Ballet, Viotti 22/23, and Mozart 3/4/5 order. We will look into these!

@Tom: I don't recall if she did any Bach concerti. She's doing the Bach Parita #2 right now.

November 8, 2022, 5:41 AM · Victoria, my daughter is just about done with Beriot 9 (all movements). She has previously done Viotti 22. We have only loosely talked about her next pieces, but her instructor suggested Paganini Moses Fantasy and possibly Beriot 7, before tackling Bruch/Mendelssohn (I’m hoping for something similar in complexity but not those, since they seem pretty overplayed).
November 8, 2022, 9:41 AM · Sue - undoubtedly overplayed - but there are many good reasons for that. These include they are amazing musically inspiring pieces, they contain critical elements for learning - but also, lets say your daughter sticks with violin through college, these are pieces that she will be expected to know. Thus, you are contributing to her dossier of essential violin knowledge.
November 8, 2022, 10:14 AM · Try Rode 7. It’s an excellent concerto with a lot to teach you.
Edited: November 8, 2022, 11:56 AM · Sue, Elise's point is really important. If someone is going into music, there are certain pieces they are expected to have played. Bruch and Mendelssohn remain two of the most commonly played solo pieces with orchestra, so she will need to know them.

Having said that, my son learned them at ages 10 and 12 and now needs to relearn them properly!

November 8, 2022, 12:17 PM · Victoria, my daughter did Viotti 22, Kabalevsky, Bruch, Lalo, and Mozart 5, in that order except she's doing Lalo and Mozart 5 concurrently (lots of movements in Lalo). Seems to be a common sequence. Both Viotti and Kabalevsky are good learning pieces for technique at that level and Kabalevsky is fun (do all 3 movements).
Edited: November 8, 2022, 12:22 PM · My teacher gave me Vieuxtemps 2 to play, and I'll be damned if I can remember a note of it now, and I have pretty good memory for stuff I've never played, and usually excellent memory for stuff I have.

The student doesn't know enough to know what the student doesn't know, as noted violin pedagogue Donald Rumsfeld famously remarked. The student's task is to play every piece given like it's the most beautiful thing in the world (which happens to be true of Mendelssohn, and not so much for Vieuxtemps 2, or any number of etudes or other important things along the way).

Victoria, I would maybe press the teacher on their plan for your daughter; I don't want to cast aspersions on teachers I don't know, but usually a teacher can come up with a coherent plan of progression for a student that is at least somewhat tailored towards the student's strengths and weaknesses, especially at this level of repertoire. You don't play, say, Rode 7 with the goal of performing it at Carnegie Hall, so I think that the teacher should be able to articulate their plan. Some students want to play certain works so badly that they might convince their teachers, which is fine, but doesn't seem to be the case here. Again, I'm trying not to meddle even saying this much.

Leopold Auer was noted to say, in regards to a student complaining about playing Ernst's Othello Fantasy:

“You’ll play it until it sounds like good music,” he thundered at the student, “and you’ll play nothing else.” (sounds like Mr. Auer must have really had it in for that student)

November 8, 2022, 12:33 PM · The OP's statement, "Her teacher is amazing but it has been a while since she did these repertoires. She's reviewing the materials" has really caught my attention. This is intermediate repertoire which I'd expect a teacher to routinely use with their students. The only reason they wouldn't is if they don't normally teach at this level, which I'd consider to be something of a red flag. Indeed, most of the advanced players on this forum (whether they teach or not) can come up with appropriate suggestions off the top of their head -- to the suggestions of Viotti 22, Kabalevsky, Rode 7, etc. I'd also add Spohr 8. And Kreisler works. And stuff like the Wieniawski Legende, maybe Sarasate Malaguena.

I agree on Susan's point on Bruch/Mendelssohn, although gaps in repertoire can be filled in at a later point, too. But those concertos are the most common entry points into the Romantic concerto repertoire for good reason -- they're enjoyable to play, popular to listen to, and are a useful way to frame certain skills.

November 8, 2022, 5:19 PM · I understand that there is a place in for Bruch/Mendelssohn (we can add Lalo while we’re at it) in any student’s violin repertoire. I would like some time/distance from these, specifically because half the kids in her studio seem to be/have been playing them in the last 4-6 months. I’m at a point where I’d rather stab myself in my ear repeatedly with a sharp object than listen to them, no matter how well played. A compromise might be to learn anything but the first movements, and come back to them at a later point in time.

But, that’s a ‘me problem’. The kid doesn’t object as strenuously to playing Mendelssohn. And she’ll play whatever her instructor deems appropriate.

November 8, 2022, 8:36 PM · Viotti 22. (I just prefer 22 to 23 musically.) Spohr ... consider No. 2, it has just a few tenths but it's not a long piece. For classical style Haydn C Major and Beethoven Romance Op. 50. The B50 is a good one to play with a local community orchestra. (I did!) Kabalevsky is great and your daughter will love it because it sounds virtuosic, that's a very natural step after Beriot 9.

I agree M5 is significantly harder than M3.

Edited: November 9, 2022, 12:34 AM · Thank you everyone for the great suggestions! She likes to explore and try new pieces so we will try to go through them. Hope one of these pieces will become her show-piece for for a while! I personally enjoyed listening to both Conus and Kabalevsky so far!

We live in a small town so there are not many students playing at the advanced level. Her teacher is from top tier school, have great interpretations on the pieces, and has a huge impact on my daughter playing style. Perhaps once my daughter had the first performance on Beriot we will post on here for your suggestions :).

November 9, 2022, 12:38 PM · My teacher in my teens never had me learn Bruch; he was tired of teaching it, I think. He taught me Mendelssohn and Saint-Saens 3 and then went up to the next concerto tier. I ended up learning Bruch, Lalo, and the other common first-tier Romantic works in my 20s.

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