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Composers you wish had written concertos?

Lydia Leong

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Which composers do you wish had written concertos for your instrument?

I've been contemplating what I want to learn next (suggestions welcome for concertos or konzertstucke smile.gif ), and I found myself wishing for violin concertos by the following composers, all of whom I think were/are capable of writing idiomatically for the violin:

- Prokofiev. (Heifetz had asked him for a third violin concerto. Prokofiev died before he could compose it.)

- Rimsky-Korsakov.

- Rachmaninov.

- Borodin.

- Copland.

- Gershwin.

- Franz Waxman.

- Nino Rota.

- Basil Poledouris.

- Ennio Morricone.

- Michael Kamen.

- Michael Nyman.

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For violin:







For cello


Beethoven (he did write a triple concerto, but not for solo cello)

Brahms (same as above)


Schubert (although Gaspar Cassado conjured up a concerto based on "Arpeggione Sonata")





By the way, Rimsky-Korsakov did write a "Konzertstucke" for violin. It is called "Fantasy on Russian Themes." If you like the violin writing for "Scheherazade", you will likely to enjoy it. Kreisler made an arrangement that cuts and pastes the piece, but the original is better.

Next concerto to play? Have you done any of the Vieuxtemps or Wieniawski? That may be a good contrast from your previous piece (Khatchaturian, right?). Or perharps Conus or Korngold?

Goldmark and Dvorak may be good one, especially if you want to tackle Beethoven or Brahms a little later. They are pretty tough, though, and Goldmark's last movement is a bit long-winded (Milstein makes a slight cut to tighten the rambling structure).

If you want to torture yourself, there are always Paganini and Ernst concerti.... wink.gif


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One of my present favorites is Dave Grusin (sp?). Does anyone know if he has written anything besides movie scores? He straddles the line between Romanticism and jazz with great aplomb. I would love to hear what he'd do with an extended work for VIOLA!

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Great question!!! I've always wished that these existed:

Beethoven viola concerto

Brahms viola concerto

Bernstein viola concerto

Dvorak viola concerto

Elgar viola concerto

Sibelius viola concerto

I'm not terribly educated about viola repertoire, so maybe there is something out there written for viola by one of these composers. Its too bad that there aren't as many Romantic era works for viola that aren't either terribly easy or terribly difficult.

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For Sevcik - Brahms Sonatensatz (or something like that). Ther are some good romantic viola concertos (in style if not in era). Walton, Bartok, I also like the Hindemith Wanderer (der schwanderer). There has been loads of stuff written over teh last 20-30 years - look in the Viola Website.

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Hmmmm ... Michael Nyman ... definitely.

Also, in that vein:

Barrington Pheloung ... the guy who wrote the score for the Inspector Morse stuff.

John Williams ... especially after hearing the violin piece at the end of "The Patriot"

(that WAS John Williams' ... wasn't it??)


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I think Debussy could have written a kick-tushie viola concerto!

Other cool composers on my [sigh] list:


Mozart (solo viola concerto!)



With the extremely large number of violin concertos compared to viola, cello, or bass concertos out there, I thought it was hilarious that someone kicked off this thread by complaining that Prokofiev didn't write a THIRD one for violin!

Does anyone know if any of these more modern people wrote a viola concerto?

Robert Beaser

John Corigliano

Jennifer Higdon

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Did Beethoven just write one violin concerto?

I wish he'd written more because his one that I know (and I think it's the only one) is so great.

I agree with everyone here about Rachmaninov--the 2nd piano concerto is so lushy romantic. It would be interesting to see what he would have done with a violin concerto if he'd known the instrument as well as he knew and understood the piano.

Did Khatchaturian do anything for violin?

And definitely Debussey--perhaps a violin concerto entitled "Le Ciel"--or perhaps "Bain de Soleil" (sorry!)


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Yes, some really interesting ideas. But..

The Rachmaninoff Violin Concerto would be sure to permanently cripple your fingers! The Debussy, no one would ever finish because the violinist would fall asleep before it was over. As for the Chopin, yes I'd like to hear that, but can you imagine having to play all those chromatic arpeggios he was so fond of using? Maybe if we had a few extra fingers on our left hands! Ravel would probably just write a dozen or so measures and then repeat them fifty times or so like he does in his Bolero. (that's got to be the most monotonous piece ever composed outside of "Little Drummer Boy" - ba-rump-a-bum-bum)

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