Your Favorites?

September 1, 2023, 9:43 AM · Child has been asked to think about the next piece she wants to play. She's currently working on SS3. These are the some of the works her teacher would like her to explore. What would be your favorites to listen to, and what would be your favorites to play? Are they usually the same thing?

Wieniawski 2
Vieuxtemps 4 or 5
Arensky Violin Concerto
Bruch Scottish Fantasy
Conus Concerto

Replies (5)

September 1, 2023, 1:10 PM · Wieniawski is really fun and it lies nicely under the hand. It has some technical similarities to SS3, but it also has its own flavor and challenges.

Vieuxtemps is probably good to study, even though I think all of his music is among the most insipid in the violin repertoire; maybe that's precisely why it should be studied. My teacher had me study V2 a while ago.

I love listening to the Scottish Fantasy but don't know the first thing about its challenges.

September 1, 2023, 3:27 PM · Checked with the kid, and while she prefers listening to Vieuxtemps 4, she thinks that it might be too hard, and wants to play 5. I guess she needs to look at the music first before deciding if one is easier than the other.
September 1, 2023, 4:40 PM · I can't imagine choosing a piece to play without first looking at the music.
September 1, 2023, 5:03 PM · Andrew, she primarily chooses what to play by listening. It is often based on what she wants to spend the next 6 months or whatever listening to over and over and over again. Sometimes, those are the pieces that are barely within her reach, and she has to put in a lot of effort to get there. In this case, she prefers 4 to 5, but 5 sounds like it might be easier, and sometimes, 13 year olds want to take the easier path (she's also a middle schooler taking two high school level courses, so has to balance those interests as well).
September 1, 2023, 5:24 PM · I would say that the Wieniawski and one of the Vieuxtemps are the two pieces in this list that those at the college level would expect her to learn. That's not a great reason for playing them, but it is a fact, so I figured I would put it out there.

I don't know the Arensky well, so I can't really comment. Scottish Fantasy is fun but I wouldn't say that its pedagogically necessary or that valuable. Conus is an interesting piece -- some do it really early in the sequence and it just doesn't seem to work well in my experience. It seems more valuable if done a bit later, even if it supposedly is not that hard.

Is for Vieuxtemps 4 vs. 5, I would say that technically #5 is probably harder (especially the looong cadenza), but I find it musically a bit lacking. It is a great pedagogical piece, though, in that it covers a wide range of skills that will be needed for the really big concertos. #4 is technically a little easier in my opinion, but musically more interesting.

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