The violin is already one of the most technically difficult instruments to get started on since everything from your posture to finger placements can affect the tone and pitch of your note. That is why it is all the more impressive when you see a violinist perform the most difficult pieces on their violin since it must have taken them a lot of effort to make it look, well, effortless. So what are a few of the most difficult violin pieces?
Paganini’s Caprice No. 4 in C minor
Nicolo Paganini is well-known as one of the most talented violinists in musical history. His pieces are all extremely complex and complicated in their own ways but perhaps none of them (including other violin pieces composed) can surpass the sheer virtuosity of his 24 caprices. While all 24 of them are incredibly difficult to perfect and the 24th caprice in A minor is the most famous in the set, the 4th caprice in C minor is reportedly the most physically taxing by far. It is 6 minutes long and is full of cascading runs that are hard to nail.
Ernst’s Variations on “The Last Rose of Summer”
It was once said that violinists who can play Paganini cannot be bothered to learn Ernst because they believe that they already have enough to show off and also because Ernst is miles ahead in terms of difficulty. His variation on “The Last Rose of Summer” is considered one of the most impossible pieces to play because of its superhuman demands (which include fingered harmonics and left-hand pizzicato on top of triceggios).
Sivan’s Transcription of the Liszt B Minor Sonata for Solo Violin
Liszt’s B Minor Sonata already commands a great deal of respect in the piano world which is why it is one of the most difficult pieces in the standard repertoire. As such, it comes with no surprise that transcribing this for the violin will produce an incredibly difficult piece to play and perfect on the violin.
All of these pieces are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tricky violin pieces, can you think of more?