Disclaimer: This is a really long post with lots of good information. Save it for a time that you can sit down and read it all. I know you’re all very busy! To help out, I’ve divided this topic into two posts so you have more time to digest the info.
Listening to good violin or fiddle music is the best way to develop a good musical ear. Although listening to the Suzuki CD and your current piece on at least a daily basis is also helpful, nothing beats having music on as often as possible. In fact, listening is equally important to daily practice. As a child I remember we always had music on, Jazz, Classical music, Baroque music, Classic Rock, pretty much everything. (We were eclectic in our tastes.) It’s also good to get to some good concerts as that is a great way to motivate kids and show them the possibilities of their instrument. That’s another post for another day. (I’ll post from time to time about upcoming concerts to see in St. Louis.)
Today I’ll be posting on good Classical violin music to listen to. I’m saving fiddlers for another day. I find itunes is a great resource as is Pandora.com. On Pandora you can create a free radio station. I’ve discovered many an artist or wonderful piece/song through Pandora. This list is not exhaustive in any sense, but is a starting point. I have included music here which features the violin. There is a ton of orchestral music and chamber music which is fantastic. I’ll put that in another post another day.
Solo Partitas and Sonatas by J. S. Bach: I have Rachel Podger’s recordings which are incredible. She’s a Baroque style violinist which means she plays the music the way it would have been heard in Bach’s day. The Henryk Szeryng recordings are an excellent example of the more modern approach to Bach, as are the Nathan Milstein recordings. (Milstein is one of my absolute favorite violinists. He’s definately worth checking out!) The 2nd Partita is particularly beautiful, especially the “Ciaccona.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partita_for_Violin_No._2_(Bach) for more info on Partita No. 2.
Devil’s Trill by Giuseppe Tartini: This is an AWESOME piece. There are several violinists who do a nice job with this piece. I have Rachel Barton Pine along with others.
Corelli trio sonatas: These are for violin, viola de gamba (precursor to the cello) and harpsichord. Very cool music if you like Baroque stuff.
Music from the Classical period is wonderfully refined and demonstrates the beautiful tone of the violin.
The Mozart Violin Concertos: These, along with Mozarts violin/piano sonatas are pretty much the crowning jewel of the Classical violin repertoire. Concertos 3, 4, and 5 are the ones most worth listening to. Joshua Bell does a beautiful job with Mozart, so it’s worth checking out his recordings.
The Mozart Sonatas for Violin and Piano: You can’t go wrong with these. I don’t have a particular artist I listen to for these. There are several that are good.
The Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano: These are getting into the end of Classical period stuff but are still wonderfully refined. Absolutely beautiful and worth checking out!
Stay tuned for info on some of the great violin music of the Romantic period including several of the best violin concertos!