Violin show pieces are the pieces which are at the limit of violin technique. They are difficult, flashy, and impressive. Here’s my list of the top 10 violin showpieces.
Paganini – Caprice 24
Paganini’s 24 Caprices are some of the most difficult for the violin, and being able to play any of them is a great accomplishment. However, the 24th Caprice is by far the most famous, and most difficult. Based upon a Theme and Variations model, this caprice employs many of the most difficult violin techniques in a musically solid base. This video is of Hillary Hahn performing this Caprice as an encore at the Verbier Festival.
The first of three Sarasate entries, Zigeunerweisen is a brilliant piece based on the themes of Roma gypsies and csárdás.
This is a video of Sarah Chang performing this piece.
Sarasate Carmen Fantasy
Sarasate arranged Berlioz’ Carmen Suites into a Violin Fantasy. It’s an incredible show piece, that has all the popular melodies, performed with astounding technical prowess. Here’s Gil Shaham performing it.
Sarasate Spanish Dances
Sarasate’s spanish dances are incredible. There’s a number of them, and they’re all brilliant. I’m sharing Yehudi Menuhin playing the Malaguena by Sarasate.
Weiniawski Scherzo Tarantelle
This is a briliant piece by Weiniawski, that is an incredibly fast and requires incredible co-ordination. Here’s a great video that looks at the brilliant talent of Jascha Heifetz, possibly the greatest violinist ever.
There’s my favourite Violin Showpieces, what’s yours?