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.
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 Anne-Sophie Mutter 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 Menuhin performing what seems to be an even faster version than most that I’ve listened to.
There’s my favourite Violin Showpieces, what’s yours?