As a violinist, you’re probably aware that there is an abundance of songs that feature the violin. In addition to the classical and baroque styles that brought the instrument to worldwide fame, there are many modern pop and rock songs that highlight the beautiful sounds of the violin. We’ve selected a handful of the best violin songs that showcase the true versatility of this magnificent string instrument.
1. Bach’s Chaconne
It wouldn’t be a true compilation of the best violin songs if we didn’t include the infamous Bach. The fifth movement of Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D minor for unaccompanied violin is easily regarded as one of the best violin songs of all time. This particular video contains Nathan Milstein performing the piece, who is acknowledged to be a very accomplished violinist, and does the piece great justice. While it is not played at an incredibly high tempo, it does allow the player to show his or her prowess completely.
2. Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto
Another phenomenal piece written for violin, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto includes both beautiful and haunting moments, as well as fast paced and technical sections that require rigorous practice. At more than 25 minutes in length, depending on the particular conductor and soloist, the piece allows the violin player to expand musical horizons as long as he or she wishes.
3. Vaughan Williams – “The Lark Ascending”
In a bit more contemporary classical vein, Ralph Vaughan Williams composed “The Lark Ascending” after being inspired by a poem of the same name written by George Meredith. It is a piece that can be played by violin accompanied by piano or full concert orchestra. As the title suggests, it is a light and airy piece, composed to actually transcribe into the sounds of a lark.
4. Kansas – “Point of Know Return”
When the rock group Kansas formed, Robby Steinhardt was an integral member of the band. He didn’t play guitar or drums, nor was he a lead vocalist; rather, he was a talented violin player who was able to give the band its signature sound that set them apart from other rock groups of the time. In the song “Point of Know Return,” Robby’s talents are on display throughout, including a bridge and solo section that bring the violin to the forefront.
5. Lindsey Stirling - “Crystallize”
While Lindsey Stirling hasn’t been performing internationally for long, she has quickly become the face of dubstep violin playing. While the combination is quite unique, the marriage of a centuries-old instrument and modern computer-generated music tickles the eardrums in a way that can only be described as one-of-a-kind. The attention to detail in her recordings is quite evident, blending new techniques with classical standards. If dubstep is a musical genre that you enjoy outside of violin playing, be sure to check out all of her songs.
Obviously, this is a very short list and contains only a few of the best violin songs that have been created. Use this list for inspiration when you’re practicing and learning violin. The more you immerse yourself in the wide variety of violin genres the better. If you have a particular violin piece that you feel should be acknowledged, feel free to let us know in the comment section below!
Photo by Will