Most students will have to face this issue at some point – the exam that demands something “in a contemporary style” or written after 1945 for example. Choosing such pieces can be surprisingly difficult. Many young players are not exposed to enough modern music early on (too much Teleman, not enough “Spectrum”) and find the language hard to come to terms with. Starting to learn a piece, which is often not
sight readable, can feel like climbing a mountain too (hence the photo). In addition it is also often hard to judge the difficulty level. So I thought we should start a list of pieces and peoples experiences of learning and performing them.
I will kick things off with my favourite (predictably for those that know me!): Kurtag Signs, Games and Messages. I have used these pieces with students of around Grade 8 standard, but some are very hard indeed – and in ways that you wouldn’t expect. But a selection of about three of these short pieces can cover many different violinistic and musical issues.
Anone else got any ideas?