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Concerti for Low-grade Soloists?


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#1 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 05:46

Are you aware of any "good-sounding" concertos or solo-orchestra pieces (or good arrangements of virtuoso works) for low-grade (1–3) soloists?  I suspect there are many more Baroque and Classical offerings, but it'd be interesting to find out what Romantic to contemporary concertos are out there.

 

Underlying this, I suppose, is the question: does good music have to be technically challenging?

 

In reality I'm not sure why I am even asking as the chance of me playing solo with an orchestra is considerably less than zero! :rofl:


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#2 Violin Hero

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 07:49

There are loads of 'student' violin concertos. The most famous are the Accolay concerto and the Vivaldi concerto RV 365 both in A minor. Neither of these would be achievable be someone of grade 3 or lower.

 

Ferdinand Kuchler also wrote student violin concertos and someone of grade 3 could probably manage some of them. Most sound pretty bland and you won't find any of them performed in a concert hall!


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#3 Gordon Shumway

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 09:12

You are too hopeful. Most concertos might have only one movement at a grade suitable for someone below grade 8. First concerto movement I remember doing on the oboe was the Mozart first movement at grade 8. However, there are easier movements, although any music you see may mislead by being adapted.

Also you are not considering the question of stamina - notice how pieces at low grades are very short - harder pieces tend to be much longer. That alone would make an entire low-grade concerto unlikely.

Also, an easy piece might sound great if played by a professional musician and terrible if played by a beginner, and who would want to listen?

Keep practising.


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#4 elemimele

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 11:13

Underlying, no, good music doesn't have to be challenging. The famous Petzold ("Bach") minuet in G is a perfect example. It's not beyond the range of beginners, but it's been recorded by Ton Koopman, who's about as professional as one can get in the keyboard world. Of course it's going to sound different when he plays it. But even then, a nicely musical performance of a simple piece by a lower-grade student can be more musically-satisfying than a grade 8 struggling to play something very complex, or over-egging the pudding to sound virtuosic.


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#5 HelenVJ

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 12:52

There are some attractive 'junior' concerti for pianists too, notably those of Alexander Peskanov, many of which can be heard on YouTube. I suppose the style could be described as neo-romantic. But to sound effective, the performer would need to be of a higher level than Grade 3. I think Alec Rowley also wrote one for junior players.

While there is plenty of good music that isn't full of technical challenges, the main point of romantic ( and later) concerti is that they contain bravura and virtuosic elements.  It's good to have something to aim for and work towards in the future.


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#6 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 29 September 2019 - 14:52

Thanks.  I had forgotten about the Peskanov concerti.


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