There are literally thousands of phenomenal violin songs so picking out the best can be tricky. However, here we are looking at some of the most iconic and best pieces ever to have been composed on the violin.
Whether you are a classical music lover or prefer the rock style, there’s something for everyone in our ultimate guide. There is no music genre that can’t be fitted to this fantastic instrument. We hope you enjoy our list!
Tchaikovsky – Violin Concerto
Let’s kick off this violin music list with a classic from Tchaikovsky. Even though he was a manic depressive, he composed his Violin Concerto while trying to recover from the breakup of his marriage. It is one of his best-known works and is also known to many violinists as his hardest piece to play.
Tomaso Albinoni – Adagio
During World War II this piece of music was discovered and restored by Remo Giazotto. He took the fragment written by Albinoni and completed it in the mid-1900s. The piece itself is heartbreaking and it’s definitely violin music with a lot of emotion and heartbreak behind it.
Bach – Partita No. 2 in D Minor
Bach is famous for his violinist music and this piece was claimed to be his ultimate achievement throughout music history. The song itself is spiritually powerful and features give structurally perfect movements that captivate the audience from the start to the end of the piece.
Mozart – Concerto No. 5 in A Major
Without Mozart, classical music wouldn’t be where it is today. He is hailed as one of the most genius composers of all time and this vibrant song is filled with uplifting elements. It’s definitely violin music that will put a smile on your face with the violinist taking center stage.
Beethoven – Concerto in D Major, Op, 61
Beethoven really pushed the boat out and challenged anyone playing violin around the world with this concerto. It’s an incredibly energetic piece that even the most accomplished violinist will find hard to grasp.
Vittorio Monti – Czardas
Czardas has made the list of music with violin that should be listened to before you die. Monti, an Italian composer, wrote this most magical of all violin musics in 1904. He used the traditional Hungarian folk dance as his inspiration for the leitmotiv and cleverly combined it with his raw emotions to reach a level of playing that only a violinist can make.
Dmitri Shostakovich – Concerto No.1 in A Minor
For anyone that listens to classical music on a regular basis, they will automatically associate Shostakovich with emotions and haunting beauty. This melancholy piece was written and played in 1947 as a revolution against the communist regime. The violin almost wrestles with the rest of the orchestra playing behind it.
Felix Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto
At only 13 years old Mendelssohn came out with his first violin concerto. The piece itself is joyous and it takes you on an almost romantic journey with the violin as the music builds. It has so many different layers so it’s definitely one of the best-written concerto pieces out there today.
Bach – Air on the G String
Bach composed the Air on the G string as part of the Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major for both violin and orchestra. However, it was August Wilhelm who took this piece to a completely different level in the 19th century. He composed an arrangement from the song called Air where he singled out a solo violinist instead of an arrangement of first violins. He then had the Air section played on the solo violin’s lowest string. This one change took a piece of great music and turned it into something new and magnificent.
Vivaldi – The Four Seasons / Summer
Vivaldi did four seasons in total but most violin connoisseurs prefer the Summer piece which was composed almost 300 years ago. Vivaldi outstripped other musicians who were creating pieces to be played on the violin by making this one a true masterpiece of its time.
Arvo Part – Spiegel Im Spiegel
Arvo Part was actually a rare composer to come out of Estonia. He truly knew how to make miracles on the strings in this piece which translates into Mirror in Mirror in English. He had the concept of writing a piece for both the piano and violin combined to create music that is enjoyable for every second it’s played.
Niccolo Paganini – Caprice No. 24
Paganini was one of the most virtuosic and technically perfect violin composers of all time. Without a doubt, this composition was one of his best if only for the outstanding solo section. This interlude is so complicated and may even be the most difficult to play for any violinist. Only a top virtuoso would be able to play along with this song.
Beethoven – Ode to Joy
This piece is one of the first classical music songs that many young and budding musicians listen to. It’s proof that classical music for the violin doesn’t need to be convoluted and difficult. Ode to Joy made Beethoven’s music easy to enjoy while still demonstrating the full power and force that the violin can offer.
Felix Mendelssohn – Wedding March
Everyone has heard the Wedding March at least once, even if it’s just been on the tv or movies. All brides want to get married without the sound of a gorgeous violin in the background that truly melts your heart. It’s the perfect accompaniment to one of the most special moments in a woman’s life. It’s also not a complicated piece to play either for any beginners out there.
Now we’ve gone through the classics let’s take a look at some of the rock ballads that feature violins.
Metallica – Nothing Else Matters
Metallica are one of the most famous heavy metal music bands to come out of America and are famed for their powerful ballads. In 1992 they released their fifth studio album which including the song Nothing Else Matters. Now it’s probably one of the best-known singles the band ever released. It featured David Garret who is a German violinist and he included it in his repertoire also.
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Nirvana started the rock revolution with this song in 1991 and surprisingly it translates beautifully onto the violin. Instead of following the glam rock stars of the time they shunned the glitz and established a new genre – grunge.
Rolling Stones – Paint it Black
A cult classic, Paint it Black was released in 1996 by the Rolling Stones. It’s a perfect example of how a rock classic can be turned into a haunting violin song. It offers up any budding violinist the chance to practice a few techniques that are vital to musicians in different musical contexts. In fact, the track was covered by a string quartet and was put on the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time list.
So there you have it, some of the best rock and classical violin songs you will find out there today. Make sure to click on the links to listen through each piece and leave your comments below.