Violin masterpieces: Solos I
If the piano is the king of instruments, then surely the violin is the queen. The fascinating timbre of the violin rivals that of the human voice, and has inspired composers to create many masterpieces. In this section we introduce a few solo masterpieces.
J.S. Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (BWV 1001-1006)
Just as Bach's solo cello suites are seen as the "bible" of cellists, this masterpiece can be said to serve a similar function for violinists. "Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor (BWV1004)" is particularly famous for its final movement, "Chaconne," which is a truly monumental work in violin music.
Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major, Op. 47 "Kreutzer Sonata"
Although Beethoven left behind 10 violin sonatas, "Kreutzer Sonata" is known as a true masterpiece. The piece was named after Rodolphe Kreutzer, a great violinist who was a contemporary of Beethoven's. It is also known for inspiring Tolstoy, the great Russian writer, to write his novel, The Kreutzer Sonata.
Paganini: Caprice No. 1
"Caprice" is seen along with Bach's solos as a "bible" for modern violinists. Formed from 24 pieces, this suite is an exceptionally artistic work that makes use of many violin playing techniques. Schumann and Liszt have also composed practice pieces based on this work.