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Thread: Beethoven Violin Concerto....Forbidden Fruit of the Amateur?

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    Default Beethoven Violin Concerto....Forbidden Fruit of the Amateur?

    Hi everyone, I'm new on this forum, but I've been playing violin since I was 6 and now currently in my second year of college.

    After high school, music has been on the back burner for me, but now I'm getting used to college life and I want to start a major project (as you may have guessed, Beethoven). My last major concerto before college was the Weiniawski No. 2 (not my favorite...pretty technical and took forever to learn, and not very musical).

    I know that the Beethoven is one of the less technical pieces, yet I have never seen an amatuer musician play it for a concert. Is this because it's some sort of holy grail concerto that only professionals tackle? It's noted as a piece that is difficult due to its demand for "musical maturity", does this mean amatuers should back off?

    Will I butcher the piece if I try it?

    And in the case that I do try to attempt this project, whose cadenza should I use. I knwo that the Kreisler cadenza's are most popular, but I really like Stern's and even the modern Schnittke cadenzas.

    Any opinions are greatly appreciated.

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    Wow, no replies. Well, I got some advice from my former teacher who thinks it's too musically demanding for most amateurs. Now I have no clue what I should do.

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    Andante
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    I am not a fiddler, but why do you hesitate?? have a go, it can only improve your playing and why not try Kreisler

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andante View Post
    and why not try Kreisler
    Well... perhaps because it is hard as hell: multiple stops, playing while trilling, polyrithms...

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    Andante
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    He who dares eh,

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    You mean for the cadenza right? It's the only technically demanding portion of the first movement. I learned the entirety of the first movement sans the cadenza already, but I can see why it's deemed difficult.

    I've recorded myself playing and it always sounds a hell of a lot less musical than what you think it sounds like when you are actually playing. It's incredibly hard to sound musical in the Beethoven.

    Whatever, I'll find something else. I totally underestimated the musical part of the piece...

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzlitebeer View Post
    Whatever, I'll find something else. I totally underestimated the musical part of the piece...
    It's a hell of a job. And nobody will ever go to a concert to hear "just the notes on the right place"; the audience is there for the artist's musicality. That's why I laugh when I read or hear something like "the piece is not hard as it is not technically demanding, only the expression and dynamics are difficult". In my opinion, anything you describe like that is a hard musical work.

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    I find the violin concerto to be the most banal thing Beethoven ever wrote. The last mvt. provides some thrills but apart from that I'll take Bach or Brahms when it comes to Germanic VC's thanks. His second violin romance would have been a good slow mvt. methinks, stick to that.
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    It's been a while since this topic and I'm back with an update. I have decided on a whim in the past month to finish learning the first movement with the Kreisler cadenza. I had a friend insist I do it if I liked the piece and to damn all the professionals that tell me otherwise.

    I learned the piece with good technique and intonation, but I have not taken it to an instructor (I haven't taken lessons since graduating high school). I will be taking lessons this winter term and hopefully get closure on this issue.

    Anyways, I recieved affirmation of my fears in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9ognm8Yu6A

    According to Jansen, most professionals are of the opinion that the Beethoven should be reserved for the aged and mature veteran.

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    Hey Buzz, Jansen ain't 50 and she's playing it anyway; so should you and the profs be damned.

    Way back then I had the same issue with the Appasionata. I went ahead on my own and now it is one of the few Beethoven sonatas still in my head. There's a lot to be said for students who learn great music early, then "keep it in reserve" so to speak, until they can really play it properly later in life. After all you never know what's going to happen in the future and you don't want to regret not taking the chance to learn it when you could. Just don't burn out too early. You sound like you know what you're doing ie you will know when to stop and/or pick it up again.

    Also, the music teacher who avoided op. 57 did teach me op. 81a for which I will be eternally gratefull :-)

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