Pieces for a violin transcription
Hi, I'm planning on making a violin transcription of some piece that is not originally written for the violin, if you could bring me some suggestions I'd be very thankful:)
Emilio, perhaps you need to give a bit more detail about what kind of music you are looking for, and maybe some background to your quest. Are you looking to build up a personal repertoire for solo violin? Will you be accompanied by a pianist or an ensemble? Maybe as a violinist you’d like to access the vocal repertoire from operas or zarzuelas? Whatever it is that you are looking for, I think that if you are more specific you’ll receive more suggestions.
I agree with Richard that the repertoire of the human voice is essentially inexhaustible. There are already excellent transcriptions of arias by Kreisler and others. Then there is art song -- "songs without words" in the parlance of Felix Mendelssohn, but don't forget the dozens of lovely "songs for piano" written by his sister Fanny Hensel. Consider also the "Woodland Sketches" of MacDowell -- one of these pieces is "To a Wild Rose" which is already quite famous as a violin transcription, but there are other pieces in the same set that are equally lovely. Sibelius also wrote some piano songs in a very slushy late-romantic style, but I don't know how well they will adapt. If you feel ambitious there are the piano preludes of Scriabin.
Go for the gold. Mahler’s 8th.
Lots of great Schubert lieder to choose from! How about one of his top 40 hits like Auf dem Wasser zu singen?
I'm messing around with a transcription of J. S. Bach's Allemande from the 4th French Suite in Eb. I transcribed it to G to use the low G string, but it has promise.
For a different genre: the classic Brazilian Bossa Nova songs sound good on violin. You are allowed to change the keys. A decent jazz pianist will not need a complete part, just the lead sheet with chord symbols. If you are a little brave include the chord chart in your part. For improvisation ideas; the Stan Getz recordings.
Alexander's suggestion that you look at Schubert is an excellent one. Other great vocal composer - Kurt Weill ('Youkali' for example) and Reynaldo Hahn ('À Chloris' among others). But a word about words. I do not think that the violin can ever convey the range of meaning encapsulated in the sound and sense of the verse, but if you are playing a song transcription you should study and learn the poetry fully. It will help you to shade and project the essence of the song, and add to the depth of the experience. Do let us know how this interesting project develops!
continued,- R.P. mentioned also studying the song text. Good singers will not use the same approach to rhythm that instrumentalists use (no jokes please). Instead of the exact arithmetical division of notes into duples and triplets, they will use the natural timing of the spoken language, probably impossible to notate. That's why published pop song lead sheets frequently look "wrong" when compared to the recording. Memorizing the melody and being aware of the text gives the mind more freedom to add another expressive tool to the performance.
I second Joel Quivey's Bossa Nova suggestion. "The Girl From Ipanema"'s sure to bring a smile to the audience's lips. Some other songs from popular genres spring to mind, such as The Chills' "Heavenly Pop Hit", which I've previously practiced on the French Horn (it seems to fit that instrument perfectly, in case you know any horn players who want to try their lip on a popular hit.)
How about Villa Lobos, Bachianas Brasileiras #5?
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