Oskar Rieding - playing a concerto can be easy!

Together with Ferdinand Küchler, Oskar Rieding is considered the ‘father’ of the easy student violin concertos.

Life

Oskar Rieding was born in Stettin (North Germany, today Szeczin, Poland) in 1840. Music schools and conservatories were opening in Europe so young Rieding was one of the first students to attend the newly opened Academy of Musical Arts in Berlin. He later continued his studies at the renowned Leipzig Conservatory.Oskar Rieding

By the late 1860s he moved to Vienna, one of the major musical capitals of the time. Vienna offered many opportunities to a young violinist. A breakthrough came when he was noticed by Hans Richter, Musical Director of the National Opera House in Budapest. Richter made him leader of the orchestra!
 
A whole new life began for Rieding. Besides his job as orchestra leader, he taught the violin and devoted time to composing violin music that would enhance young violinist's technical and musical skills. He was so inspired by Hungarian music that he composed one of his best concertinos ‘in the Hungarian style’.
 
He retired in 1904 and moved to Celje (Slovenia) where he continued to compose. Oskar Rieding died in 1918.
 

Birth of the easy violin concerto

Oskar Rieding wrote a number of violin concertos and other violin music carefully designed to address violinists of all grade levels. Being a violin teacher himself he composed violin concertos to be played as early as Year 1, enhancing the difficulty level with each concerto. Thanks to Rieding, you didn’t have to wait years to play concerto. A beginner violinist could pride himself in playing one! These concertos became known as the ‘easy violin concertos’.
 

What makes these easy violin concertos special?

We can identify a number of reasons. Here are the top 5:
 
  1. Technical and musical skills in each concerto are adjusted to the grade level.
  2. With each new concerto students learn new left and right hand technique.
  3. Phrasing - When studying the concertos, the student is introduced to a 'phrase'. They learn how to play the phrase 'in one breath', where to take a 'breath' and how to play when the phrase comes to an end. 
  4. Music form - All student concertos are written in the traditional music forms, whether it is a sonata form, Rondo or just  a simple A B A form. Playing the easy concertos is a great way to introduce the student to the variety of music forms.
  5. Builds self-confidence The word 'concerto' does sound serious. When I give my student his/her first concerto, the immediate question I get is: 'Really, I can play a concerto? Am I that good already?' Yes, the many reasons practicing the easy concertos benefit the young musician are the ones that when mastered boost the players self-confidence. Mastering a music piece of 7-8 minutes demands a higher set of technical and musical skills. The student knows he/she has accomplished something that not everybody can.

 

Concerto recommendations

Here are a number of Rieding concertos every aspiring young violin student should play. Most of the concertos are available to playalong with Max’s Virtual Orchestra!

Concerto in B minor for violin and orchestra Op.35Max The Ant Violinist

Concerto in D major for violin and orchestra, Op.36

Concerto in D major for violin and orchestra Op.25

Concertino in A Minor for violin and orchestra Op.21

Concertino in G for violin and orchestra Op.24

Concerto in G for violin and orchestra Op.34

Why not try out the concertos with the LPC app?

Download on the App store: http://bit.ly/1nbkTW0

Download on Google Play: https://goo.gl/8GT8Du

What is your next Rieding concerto?

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