Appeal to the Masses

A student asks for recommendations for a violin piece (with or without piano) written in the last 15 years. Paul Dresher’s Double Ikat is a little too long in the tooth by this point, and I’m having trouble coming up with compelling, more recent examples. So I bring it to you. Personally, I’d be much more interested in something arguably postclassical than in the usual high-modernist glop, but I suppose anything post-1992 would fulfill the assignment.

UPDATE: Please, feel free to recommend your own works. I’m gonna keep talking about my music, go ahead and talk about yours.


  1. says

    I would have your student check out under advanced search you can search by instrumentation. I came up with 661 records for violin and piano. There are both well known and unknown works on the list, depending on how interesting the programme. Some works even have the score available online.

  2. says

    It’s for two violins and it was written in 1990, so it doesn’t quite meet your criteria, but Scott Lindroth’s “Duo for Violins” is phenomenal. There’s a recording here:
    David Rakowski isn’t postclassical, but he rocks nonetheless. I don’t know and thus can’t vouch for these specific pieces, but he’s got:
    PIED-À-TERRE (1999, 10′) for violin and piano. C.F. Peters, Edition 67943.
    WHEN THE BOW BREAKS (2000, 13′) for violin solo. C.F. Peters, Edition 67871.
    ROWELL COME BACK NOW (1997, 98, 18′) for electric violin solo. C.F. Peters, Edition 67844.
    Jon Appleton’s “Nihon No Omide” (1996) is good.
    Is there enough time between now and this student’s recital that he or she could ask somebody to write a piece for the occasion? It sounds like there’s a repertoire shortage that should be remedied.

  3. cs says

    What about Charles Dodge’s Etudes for Violin and Tape? I think those are just post-1992.

  4. Tom DePlonty says

    I think the dates are right: there’s another Dresher, Elapsed Time written in 1997, and John Adams’ Road Movies from 1995. Both are for violin and piano.

  5. Gabor says

    Walter Zimmermann: Die Sorge geht über den Fluß für Violine Solo Teil 1 (1989/90/91) Teil 2 (2001)
    Jo Kondo: Ilex (2003) for violin and piano
    Richard Barrett: Air (1994) violin solo
    Wolfgang von Schweinitz: Plainsound Etudes (2004-) violin solo
    Boudewijn Buckinx: Promenade in Peccadië (1997) solo violin, Begegnung in Wien (2003), violin and piano
    Christopher Fox: Iridescence (2004) solo violin
    Somewhat older, but very worthwhile:
    Zimmermann: The Ecchoing Green für Violine und Klavier (1989)
    Buckinx: 1001 Sontatas for violin and piano (1988; 24 hours long)

  6. Samuel says

    I’m probably not the only one to jump at this clear invitation to plug his works, but I’d like to bring to attention a seven minute piece called “2 Suites” for violin and piano which is among my works probably my own favorite. It requires a high level of control, especially from the violinist.

  7. JS says

    Esa-Pekka Salonen’s ‘Lachen Verlernt.’ Unfortunately, it’s pretty solidly “midtown.” But fortunately, it’s pretty solidly awesome.

  8. says

    Can your student sing? And sing well? It’s a tall order, I know, but one of the most exciting new pieces I’ve heard in the last couple of years is Lisa Bielawa’s “Kafka Songs”, for one singing violinist.

  9. Albert Sammons says

    “I just heard Todd Reynolds play…”
    Todd has generated a whole body of new works for Violin and Electronics, including a series of looping etudes by Phil Kline and some mad MAX stuff by Neil Rolnick.
    KG replies: Todd’s a great resource, and this student has met him, but he was just looking for some conventiontal-instrument repertoire to audition with.

  10. Max Scheinin says

    As the student whose query to Kyle prompted this thread, I just want to thank everyone who’s so far responded for the range of suggestions. As Kyle said, I need something to play at an audition (though not for about 7 months), which probably rules out pieces involving electronics. (Nor will my singing impress anybody, so unfortunately there goes the cool suggestion of “Kafka Songs”).
    Just browsing through the entries at NewMusicJukeBox has already proved a bit overwhelming. Should I wind up working on something by a composer here, btw, I’ll definitely get in touch with him or her. Anyway, again, thanks all. (Of course, I’ll continue to appreciate further suggestions).

  11. Daniel G. says

    Right now I’m listening to Lowell Liebermann’s Sonata No. 1 for vln and pno (op. 46). Lyrical and energetic, in two movements, totaling 15 minutes.

  12. mclaren says

    I like it.
    [1] Student auditions using Altieri’s JI violin pieces.
    [2] Audition committee tells him “too many wrong notes, sorry.”
    [3] Student tries to explain it’s supposed to sound that way…

  13. David Fillingham says

    Yehudi Wyner wrote
    Concert duo for violin and piano (1956). That is conventional format, an early work of his. The first movement has a lot of independence between piano and violin, and the second movement is sonorous and dramatic, perhaps good for an audition. It is published by Shirmer.

  14. says

    KG replies: Todd’s a great resource, and this student has met him, but he was just looking for some conventiontal-instrument repertoire to audition with.
    This changes everything, alas.

  15. says

    Two suggestions:
    1)a very nice unaccompanied violin solo by Christopher Theofanidis entitled Flow, My Tears,
    2)I’ve had good luck with my solo violin work “…I to my Friends” which got several performances last year in Austin, Texas and Edinburgh, Scotland.

  16. says

    I am amazed that I actually have the carefree wherewithall and audacity (today) to invite both rejection and self-serving accusations…- and which I am sure I am soon to regret….so here it is: probably one of the worst things ever written for violin… as I am essentially a keyboardist, but…could be fun maybe… I was in New Hampshire rehearsing for a local production of The Death of Don Juan, and I ended up spending a lot of time waiting around in a quaint but strange and isolated bed-and-breakfast, so I started writing this piece to kill some time. A couple of months later it turned out to be about a hundred variations on a one-bar, 5-beat melody led by the violin (some versions are 100 and some are 108), some for full orchestra, for small orchestra, it could even be done solo. I didn’t do much with it – but even though I couldn’t stand the violin sound on my computer, I spent quite a bit of time working on it. Would anyone like to rescue this piece from the garbage can? email: .One solid thing: date is 2005.

  17. says

    I believe that Jennifer Walshe’s five minute piece THIS IS WHY PEOPLE O.D. ON PILLS/AND JUMP FROM THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE can be played by any solo instrument (originally written for cellist Anton Lukoszevieze). Her pseudo-corporate website can be a bit confusing, but here it is anyway: Milker Corporation.

    How post-classic is that?

  18. Ronald Smith says

    Belinda Reynolds has a good piece for violin and piano. EIther she or Kate Stenberg from Del Sol played me a recording of it though I can’t recall its name. might provide a title. She also has a killer duo for 2 violins from way back in 1990.