Here are some inspiring violin videos from Youtube. As a violinist, I always enjoy soaking up the musicianship of a variety of players, as well as analyzing the way each player uniquely approaches the instrument.
We’ll start with Humoresque in G-Flat Major by the Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904). This is a piece that Suzuki students know from Book 3. Itzhak Perlman and cellist Yo-Yo Ma are accompanied by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Seiji Ozawa. This performance can be found on a recording that features a sampling of Dvorak’s music.
The Sonata in A major for Violin and Piano by French composer Cesar Franck (1822-1890) has become a staple of the violin repertoire. Here is the final Movement, performed by Joshua Bell and pianist Jeremy Denk. It was included on their newly released recording, French Impressions. Bell and Denk discuss the CD here. I also recommend Oleh Krysa’s recording of this piece.
No one had a greater impact on the development of the violin than Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840). Paganini toured Europe, achieving rock star status at a time when the public concert hall increasingly made concerts available to the masses and not just aristocracy.
Violinist Julia Fischer has some interesting things to say about Paganini and the 24 Caprices (short pieces that employ dazzling technical effects).
Belgian violinist Eugene Ysaye (1858-1931) contributed six solo violin sonatas to the repertoire, each dedicated to one of his fellow violinists.
Here, the legendary David Oistrakh performs the third sonata, dedicated to George Enescu.