violin concertos ranked by difficulty

I was fortunate to play it quite a few times with orchestras in Romania and the USA and I would take it any day over Mozart 5. Somehow this D Major doesn’t seem like the same key as the D Major of Mozart No. I think Mozart 5 as a 10. 4! Paganini was a showman! He is perhaps more well known as a virtuoso instrumentalist than a composer, but his violin concerto, one of the greatest in the repertoire, is a masterclass in extended techniques and technical pyrotechnics. They often are not as virtuosic and tend to remain in the lower positions on the violin. I was 11 when I learned it. A 10.0? I did mention this was a rehearsal, right? Keep some plasters in your violin case – your fingers will be crying after this one. Commentary: My wife Akiko and I go back and forth about which of the two “big” Mozart openings is tougher. And just how do you transition to the theme? The concerto is the ultimate showcase of musical virtuosity, where soloist and orchestra compete in a compelling musical dialogue.

And yes, those Mozart and Mendelssohn opening have a way of transporting you right back to high school! Great article! Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. Bruch wrote a couple of gorgeous concertos: it was a toss … Then there’s the left hand: again, not a lot of gymnastics to start, but it can be hard to nail the right combination of intensity and temperature in the vibrato. For me, Paganini 1 would be very low on the scale. Topped off with lightning scalic passages and animated spiccato bowing that requires serious stamina, it’s easy to see why this violin concerto is considered one of the greatest and is so widely performed to this day. Heifetz commissioned the wonderful Walton Concerto and played it frequently. With just the right touch (and ample technique), the Dvořák concerto comes to life and reveals itself to be a masterpiece. Once you get this music in your blood, however, it’s impossible to get it out. You get all the fun of a minor tenth (hello, Wienawski No. The give away no secrets by revealing that the Berg is pretty easy.

So to get more specific as to why this tops out at 8.0: the first note of Stravinsky is harder to find, and you have to hold it longer. 0000039286 00000 n 0000077746 00000 n Commentary: This opening could go either way: really easy or really hard, depending on the interpretation. Commentary: Every twelve-year-old has the same look on his face the first time his teacher puts this piece on the stand: What am I supposed to do with that?

After all, Mendelssohn is the first non-Mozart concerto that most people learn. It was terrifying when I hadn’t yet explored the upper reaches of the fingerboard, but it seems to be more comfy now. << /Linearized 1 /L 271166 /H [ 1195 427 ] /O 38 /E 182025 /N 16 /T 270347 >>

Your email address will not be published. 0000038489 00000 n You enter with a four-note chord that’s actually the start of an expressive motif in thirds. How do you feel? I haven’t performed it!

Plenty of questions here as well: do you vibrate the very first note?

But no other concerto on this list makes you walk out in front of the orchestra, take a bow, then control the moment all the way to the very first sound the audience hears. During a practice break back in school at Curtis, I was musing on this with my friend Pavel Ilyashov. His political angst engendered some of the most emotionally stirring music ever written, and his violin concerto is no exception.

Everything leads to a fantastic scale up to a high A.

0000102960 00000 n Nonetheless, if one of the criteria for this list is “how badly I’ve heard good players sound”, then Prokofiev 2 has to rank above the mid-point of the scale. Kindest regards, In fact, Fritz Kreisler himself accompanied little Jascha.

Ludwig van Beethoven Concerto in D major, Op.

I blame the Lalo opening for teaching children everywhere some of the worst practice habits known to man. Quick summary: You get three beats of a tutti and you come in on 4. Of course! I'm always looking for new things to try to play while at home and although I'm fairly beginner, I do enjoy trying my hand at pieces a bit beyond my level (only a bit though, if it's too advanced than it's no fun). Again, tough for different reasons.

One can play a long time with the comfort of the orchestra around them and then, suddenly you are on an island all by yourself. Then you spend a month torturing everyone within earshot.

You put them back together in a miniature cadenza that takes you to the noble first-movement theme. From the moment your bow touches the string, you contend with musical challenges on a grand scale as well as technical ones: octaves, thirds, broken arpeggios, and spiccato all leading to a meltingly tender main theme.

It’s tough to keep the pulse even in the opening of Sibelius. Absolutely. A few give you some margin for error in the opening, while others show you no mercy! Would name Korngold. This violin concerto has previously been termed ‘un-violinable’ due to the sheer technical demands of the part. Looking for some pieces of violin music that will make your fingers look like THIS? Paganini is getting mixed feelings from folks. Yes, that’s one I finally played with orchestra this April.

No, next time! �lV�(KL���a͟F��N%�V-M�T�����~d�d�� �����z��е����8��L:c������ew��JL�6�<90tz��M�"�'T6�Z|�4O�6����C7�EgL�\ M����A��Q�"/��~�,`�!I���'�Sc3���hd�d���- .�R��2M���E&e��V�`&�]d]�#Dd�@ It’s tailor-made for eroding confidence, day by day.

Not quite: that’s why there’s commentary.

Everyone thinks they practiced rhythmically, but the eighth notes don’t lie. The purity of both tone and tuning required for the first notes, the fact that you are completely unsuported as you start in complete silence, the bow control in Adagio, these are enough reasons to scare anyone.

This is another of the most popular concertos in the repertoire and features beautiful, rich, intense lyricism married with a display of formidable technical agility. Beethoven dedicated his Sonata No. Take the opening tutti: it’s both long and dramatic. Either you can make a good sound playing an eleventh or you can’t. So like because I never really had formal music schooling and because of the huge gap in my playing, my skill level is a bit all over the place. Questions abound: up or down bow, from the string or not, long or short? A lamenting first movement opens to a strident second. Yeah, video of him can be hard to find! If I understand his essay correctly, he mostly talks about technical challenges including those that are connected to interpreting each concerto in at least musically literate way. Like studies, these concerti are often composed to address certain technical deficits in the student. Commentary: There’s a big jump up in degree of difficulty for this last tier of concerti. Instead you have a laundry list: keep one basic pulse through the eighths, triplets, sixteenths, quintuplets and sextuplets; keep decent sound quality throughout; keep your dignity! And, hey, better put a video of you in the next one.

This a cappella work by Béla Bartók was dedicated to and premiered by Yehudi Menuhin, who demanded the composer make some tweaks to make the Sonata easier to play. Andre Previn, who was conducting us, simply kept shaking his fists so that we’d keep up the tremolo. Karl Goldmark violin concerto with Sarah Chang. There’s no room for anything less than your best-quality sound. endobj

Your email address will not be published. It’s fun to imagine what outfit springs most easily to mind for each concerto opening. Sibelius Violin Concerto in D Minor. %# , #&')*)-0-(0%()(�� C I agree with the comments about the Saint-Saens #3. Once I got used to the spacing of the chord, it was OK. And then you get to ease into the piece. The soloist just has tremolo in the orchestra and has to start very quickly, like in Mendelssohn, facing this phrase on the G-string, following then by arpeggios, chords, etc… All the best! By using this site you consent to this use in our Cookie & Privacy Policy | Hosted & Managed in the UK by RocketWP, © 2020 Norman Lebrecht. It’s because you can walk into a violin shop with icy cold hands and make any fiddle sound like a winner! Bartok 1 is certainly tough… I didn’t include it because most people don’t know it well. It doesn't appear in any feeds, and anyone with a direct link to it will see a message like this one.

And it’s surprisingly easy to sound bad on that first chord. Any piece with ‘unaccompanied’ next to it is sure to send terror into the soul of any violinist. I would still rather play this opening than the Allegro from No. But the short introduction means you don’t get a chance to get nervous either. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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