The 10 Violin Solos of All Time
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When it comes to choosing what to play among thousands of violin solos available in the world today, it can be very tasking.
Our list here will definitely serve as an easy point of reference if you are looking for the best of the best.
This list is very encompassing. It contains best-known pieces across the board, right from the 18th century to the present contemporary tunes. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced violinist, there is something in here for you.
#1. Meditation (from Thais) by Jules Massenet
“Meditation” is composed by Jules Massenet, a French composer. It is described as a symphonic, short musical composition from the opera Thais. This piece is originally written for solo violin and orchestra. And it was first performed at the Opera Garnier in 1894.
This famous piece has been performed and adapted in various forms. Notably, the Meditation was first rendered for violin and piano. Moreso, world-famous soloists like Joshua Bell, have performed this encore piece.
Above all, we recommend you add this to your list. You will surely love the story behind this wonderful piece. Also, it is considered one of the best solos of all time.
#2. The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams
The Lark Ascending is originally a poem written by the English poet, George Meredith. It was the poem that inspired Ralph Vaughan Williams, an English composer. The piece was first performed in London in 1921. And it had been earlier transcribed for solo violin and piano in 1914.
Interestingly The Lark Ascending has continued to be the favorite of many classical music lovers. For instance, it was consistently voted first among equals from 2007 to 2012. In short, this piece should definitely be on your list of violin solos.
#3. Sonata II in G Minor by G. F. Handel
The Sonata in G Minor is also known as Opus 1 No. 10. It was believed to have been composed by George Frideric Händel around 1724. However, this piece was first performed by Walsh in 1732 as an Oboe sonata.
Intrinsically, it is more of a violin sonata. And the two major editions available, the Walsh edition and the Chrysander edition, further attest to this truth.
#4. The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniels
The Devil Went Down to Georgia can be regarded as a country rock music. It was written and performed by the Charlie Daniels. This song was published in their album, Million Mile Reflections in 1979.
Furthermore, the piece is written in D Minor key. It was Vassar Clements that first wrote the primary melody, an octave lower.
This is one of the solos you can use to thrill your audience. And if you are not a violinist you will surely savor the melody from this piece.
#5. Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
The Bittersweet Symphony is a big hit song by The Verve. The Verve was English alternative rock band. This symphony is the foremost track on their third studio album named Urban Hymns. And this album was released in 1997.
Besides the song and its music video that shook the world, what is most memorable is the background violin tempo. The violin solo is very clear, unique and strikes deep into the soul. Without any doubt, we recommend you try this song out.
#6. Minuet by L. Boccherini
Minuet is a popular melody from Boccherini’s String Quintet. Luigi Boccherini was an Italian composer most known in the classical era. He wrote the String Quintet in E, Op. 11, No. 5 in 1771 and it was published in 1775.
This minute third movement is sometimes referred to as The Celebrated Minuet. It is mostly played as a solo out of the full quintet.
Notably, this solo has been featured in many television advertorials and movies. It will really be an awesome addition to your collections.
#7. “Gavotte” from Mignon by A. Thomas
Ambroise Thomas (1811-1896) published one of the most successful French comic operas in 1866. He was a long-serving director of the Paris Conservatory.
This particular solo, originally called The Rondo-Gavotte is rendered by Frédéric, in act two of the opera. It is now being sung by sopranos, though it was basically composed for a lyric tenor.
Above all, it is our top pick for intermediate violinists. This melodic piece can also serve the beginners transitioning to a higher level.
#8. Salut D’Amour by Edward Elgar
Salut d’Amour is a masterpiece composed by Elgar in 1888. It was primarily written for violin and piano. This piece can be regarded as a product of love. It happened that Elgar finished this work when he was romantically in love with Caroline Alice. She later became his wife.
As reported, he offered her Salut d’Amour as an engagement gift. However, the orchestral version was first publicly performed at a Crystal Palace concert in 1889. And that performance was conducted by August Manns.
Summarily, Salut d’Amour is known as one of the best works of Elgar. It has inspired many musical arrangements. You will surely find a good tune in this piece to play.
#9. Liebesleid (Love’s Sorrow) by Fritz Kreisler
Fritz Kreisler is well known for his famous three short pieces composed for violin and piano. And these pieces are often performed separately. One of them is Liebesleid, which means ‘Love’s Sorrow’.
Liebesleid is regarded as a simple piece that has small syncopations. And it is classified as belonging to a chamber music classical genre. It has continued to be on the list of several known violinists.
However, if you are looking for something simple to play as a beginner, this is a great piece for you.
#10. Le Cygne (The Swan) by Camille Saint-Saens
The Swan is composed by Saint-Saens. It is regarded as the thirteenth and second to the last of movement of The Carnival of the Animals. And it was at the beginning scored for solo cello. But since then, it has been transcribed for several other instruments.
Interestingly, Le Cygne is the sole movement out of The Carnival of the Animals that Saint-Saens permitted for play in public while alive. It is another awesome addition to our list you can choose to treat your audience to a good melody.
On a final note, you can take your musical career as a violinist, to the next level with any of the numbers on our list. They are carefully selected to satisfy the melodious buds of many classical music lovers.
Notably, the list ranges from the most popular in the 18th century to the present day pieces. There is usually one beautiful thing about each of these solos. One amazing story or the other always inspired their compositions. You can never get enough of them.