Bruch G Minor Road

Edited: November 22, 2017, 7:50 AM · So I've already posted a few threads about this, but I feel like the situation I have is becoming more updated than my last threads. My teacher and I are working on DeBeriot Concerto No. 9 in A minor and 3/4 octave scales/arpeggios in thirds, double stops, octaves, etc. One of my ultimate goals is to be able to play the Bruch G minor Violin Concerto (not anytime soon). Do you think there are any significant pieces one should play before attempting a movement of the Bruch? My teacher definitely wants me to do a Mozart concerto for musicality before the concerto. Can anyone suggest a sequence of pieces/etudes for me to look at before attempting this concerto? Anything would be greatly appreciated.


Replies (16)

November 22, 2017, 10:12 AM · I think anything that can build the technical and musical skills for the Bruch should do the trick.
Edited: November 22, 2017, 11:01 AM · Chromatic scales!! Bach E Major Praeludio. Before Mozart, try Haydn G Major if you have not done it, and first movement of Summer from Vivaldi Four Seasons. The Bach and the Vivaldi will help prepare you for the fast bits of the Bruch.
Edited: November 22, 2017, 12:02 PM · Bruch is quite a tricky concerto technique-wise. The finger placement and such feel pretty unorthodox on the violin in that piece.
Along with Paul’s suggestion, and before the Bruch, you could do either the Mendelssohn or Saint-Saens 3 concertos, or both :)
It would certainly help to strengthen your technique for the Bruch.

All the best!

November 22, 2017, 12:15 PM · Most students do Bruch (at least the first movement) before Mendelssohn or SS3. Likely the OP's teacher has him on this typical trajectory.
November 22, 2017, 1:40 PM · Really? I didn’t know that. Seems like I took the reverse road.
November 22, 2017, 3:14 PM · Everyone takes a different path, and it depends on each individual's strengths and weaknesses to a degree.
Edited: November 22, 2017, 3:48 PM · Mozart is good for musicality and precision, and then Lalo before Bruch is pretty standard (Lalo is very violinistic so easier than Bruch, but still builds technical familiarity). In parallel doing some Bach like the E major (whole thing with Loure and Preludio last) is good for both musicality and technical facility. Of course, you should always practice scales and arpeggios for at least 30 minutes a day.

After finishing Lalo doing something shorter before beginning Bruch would be a good break, maybe Schubert or Dvorak? Or also some Kreisler or Sarasate?

November 22, 2017, 8:04 PM · Bruch usually precedes Mendelssohn or SS3. It's also very unusual to play Lalo before Bruch (G minor concerto). Occasionally you might get a teacher who does a single easier movement of Lalo (specifically the Symphonie Espagnol) before Bruch but that's pretty unusual too. The whole Lalo is, as an entity, more difficult. than the Bruch.

The Dvorak concerto is far harder than the Bruch, and it's considerably longer. (I suppose you could be thinking about the short pieces, like the Four Romantic Pieces, but those are significantly less difficult, so probably not a great digression for someone progression-oriented.)

Not everyone necessarily teaches the Bruch. I never learned it in childhood; I eventually learned it as an adult, after having done much of the other concerto repertoire first.

November 22, 2017, 9:16 PM · My wife and I usually teach the Lalo Symphonie Espagnole (first movement only) before the Bruch concerto. It's just a lot more scalar and formulaic, with less-complex rhythm overall, and easier for younger students to piece together.

There's a lot of works out there that are great to work on, leading up to the Romantic concertos. I'd look like Kreisler's Praeludium and Allegro, Mozart No. 3, Sarasate Malaguena, Beethoven Romance Op. 50, even the Wieniawski Legende.

November 22, 2017, 10:36 PM · If you're playing De Beriot, you're closer than you think. Bruch is not incredibly challenging as long as you have good intonation. Have you played Kabalevsky? Maybe Lalo also (as Gene said)?

Lydia, I wasn't aware - I played Lalo before Bruch and found it easier. I guess it depends on strengths and weaknesses of the individual student?

November 22, 2017, 10:56 PM · Of course Gabbi. I think that each student under the same teacher will learn different repertoire because of strengths and weaknesses, as well as personal preferences. Plus, teachers will single out movements for study.
November 22, 2017, 11:28 PM · Difficulty of all repertoire depends on individual strengths and weaknesses. Some teachers are more sequential, I think -- i.e., similar repertoire choices, in the same order, for most of their students -- while others tend to mix it up a lot more. And different teachers have different notions of when a student is ready to play a particular piece.

Lalo is not even in difficulty across the movements, which seems to be why teaching single movements of it, separated by time, is more common than it is with other concerto literature. (And I think the movements aren't as tightly interconnected as they would be in most Romantic-era violin concertos.)

November 23, 2017, 3:31 PM · I feel as if this list may be a logical repertoire sequence:
Accolay A Minor Concerto
Sicilienne and Rigaudon - Kreisler
Vitali Chaconne
Deberiot Vln. Concerto No. 9 - A Minor
Mozart 3 Vln. Concerto - for musicality purposes
Bach E Major Partita
P&A - Kreisler
Lalo Concerto???
Bruch G Minor Violin Concerto
Edited: November 24, 2017, 2:35 PM · If you haven't worked through Kreutzer, you should do that, and a great one to do before Kreutzer is Dont op. 37.

I went Beriot, Viotti 22, Vieuxtemps 2, Kreisler P&A, and now Wieniawski 2, (I think it was Beriot before Viotti) but every teacher has their reasoning for their order, provided that they have an order and a reasoning for that order ;-). Maybe Bruch will be next (though I wouldn't miss it), or maybe Mendelssohn.

November 26, 2017, 1:40 PM · I actually did things in this order:

Kabalevsky in C - Wieniawski no 2, second mvt- Lalo Symphonie Esapagnole - Bruch 2nd mvt - Kabalevsky Improvisato - Bach Partita II Allemanda And Corrente - Bruch 1st mvt - Bruch 3rd mvt - Bach Sonata No. 1 Adagio Prelude.

It of course depends on your individual strengths and weaknesses, but having played Lalo for fast fingers and Wieniawski 2nd mvt for musicality definitely helped me. I don’t really know if you absolutely need Bach before Bruch but it can’t hurt. Thirds in the Finale were the bane of my existence so as long as you’re good with thirds you shouldn’t have too much of a difficulty.

November 26, 2017, 2:15 PM · Also why not practice several things at the same time?
Usually, students practice scales, etudes, Bach, a concerto, and a virtuoso piece at the same time, ones progresses faster, as what you learn in one thing can help further your progress in another.

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