a duo is playing duets for violin and piano

30 Beautiful Violin and Piano Duets for Any Level and Occasion

September 22, 2021 Selin Gökova 14 min read No Comments

Piano and violin pair perfectly together, so there is a massive repertoire dedicated to duets for violin and piano in all genres of music, especially classical.

Unlike piano and guitar duets which are hard to find, the real challenge when it comes to piano and violin duets is to choose one from thousands of amazing pieces to perform or teach to students.

While putting together this list, I had to exclude a lot of duets that I absolutely love to play just because I didn’t want this list to be too overwhelming. After all, choosing a piano and violin duet is already an overwhelming task, so I’m here to make things a little easier for you.

I divided this post into different sections based on difficulty levels (easy-intermediate-advanced) and different occasions (weddings-Christmas).

I’ve also included my favorite piano and violin duet books for each section, so I highly recommend checking them out as well. Those collections include many other fantastic duets that aren’t included on this list but are absolutely beautiful.

I hope you can find the best duet to perform with your duet partner!


Easy Violin and Piano Duets

Ode to Joy – Ludwig van Beethoven

  • Violin: Easy
  • Piano: Easy

A very well-known title, Ode to Joy by Beethoven is a perfect one to play for beginner pianists and violinists.

You can find a lot of beginner arrangements of this piece for a wide variety of instrument combinations, though piano and violin duet is my favorite pair for this simple and famous tune.

Sheet music

 

Minuet in G – Johann Sebastian Bach

  • Violin: Easy
  • Piano: Easy

If you’d like to play something from Bach, Minuet in G is a great starting point.

It is an incredibly easy and well-known classical piece that is quite often performed as a violin and piano duet. If you’re looking for a popular, fun, and simple classical piece, Minuet in G is a must-play!

Sheet music

Home, Sweet Home – Henry Rowley Bishop

  • Violin: Easy
  • Piano: Easy

Home, Sweet Home is a lovely American song adapted from John Howard Payne’s 1823 opera Clari, and its melody was composed by Bishop.

If you’re looking for a more traditional and patriotic song, Home, Sweet Home is a perfect one. The arrangement linked below is very easy. The violin part plays the melody, while the piano plays a simple chord accompaniment.

If you have someone to sing along with you as well, it gets even more fun!

Sheet music

Arioso “Dank sei dir, Herr” – George Frideric Handel

  • Violin: Easy
  • Piano: Easy

This piece is one of my favorite easy piano and violin duets. The best thing is that it’s perfect to perform on a wide variety of occasions such as weddings, easter, at church, or festivals.

It’s played at a fairly slow pace, so it’s quite beginner-friendly. The piano mostly plays simple chords while the violin handles the melody.

However, unlike most beginner piano and violin duets, the piano accompaniment is not boring in this piece despite consisting of only chords. So, I highly recommend giving it a try!

Sheet music

Amazing Grace

  • Violin: Easy
  • Piano: Easy

Amazing Grace is a well-known Christian hymn that is perfect to play at church or any traditional gathering.

There are a lot of different kinds of arrangements of this hymn on different sheet music sites, so you can easily find a suitable arrangement for your difficulty level and instrument.

This simple yet famous tune makes a gorgeous piano and violin duet, so it’s highly recommended for players of any level.

Sheet music

Concerto in B minor Op.35 No.2 – Oskar Rieding

  • Violin: Easy
  • Piano: Intermediate

Oskar Rieding was a German violinist and composer who is best known for his works of violin and piano duets for beginner/intermediate level students.

If you’re looking for pieces to perform as a violin and piano duo, I highly suggest exploring more of Rieding’s works as they’re among the finest pieces of violin and piano duet repertoire.

This concerto is a classic as it’s the most well-known piece by Rieding. While the piano part is classified as intermediate, it’s actually quite repetitive and there isn’t any complex part that a beginner can’t handle.

I recommend learning this piece to both beginner and intermediate players.

Sheet music

Serenata Op.6 No.1 – Enrico Toselli

  • Violin: Easy
  • Piano: Intermediate

Serenata Op.6 by Enrico Toselli is another beautiful piano and violin song for beginners that is a little more difficult than the previously mentioned pieces on both the piano and violin end. Still, I believe it should be included in any violinists’ repertoire who is into learning the violin for more than a year.

It’s a cheerful piece in the waltz style with a 3/4 timing. Both the piano and violin parts are incredibly fun to play as both instruments play in different patterns and styles.

Another good reason to include this piece in your duet repertoire is that it always leaves everyone in the room in a positive mood wherever you perform it.

Sheet music

 

Best Easy Violin and Piano Duet Collections – Quick Overview


Intermediate Violin and Piano Duets

Csárdás – Vittorio Monti

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

Csardas is among the most popular and loved pieces of violin and piano repertoire (it was originally composed for violin, mandolin, and piano).

It’s also by far my favorite piano and violin duet, although playing it can be challenging as a duo at its original pace for beginner players. However, not all the parts should be played fast, as the piece features different sections in varying tempos.

The first part, for example, should be played in largo, while switching to allegro by the 22nd measure. Just like the rapid tempo changes, the piece features several changes in dynamic and key (modulating between D major and D minor), which makes it even more exciting and fun to play.

The violin part has technical challenges such as artificial harmonics and different bowing techniques. Practicing them will be incredibly helpful for improving the violin technique.

The piano section has its own challenges as well, though intermediate pianists should have no problem.

Overall, I highly recommend this piece to all violinists and pianists who are looking for a well-known, fun, yet challenging duet.

Sheet music

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

This concerto from the Romantic era is a must-include in the repertoire for intermediate violinists as it features different techniques such as double stops, vibrato, and various bow techniques. The piece is played in the 1st position. 

It’s also great for pianists because the piano section is filled with different techniques as well, one of which is the tremolo technique.

Overall, this concerto is very suitable to play in auditions, competitions, and concerts as it allows players to showcase their instrumental skills thanks to the wide variety of techniques it features.

Sheet music

Sonatina in G major Op.100 – Antonin Dvorak

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

Composed by Dvorak for his 15-year-old pianist daughter Otilie and 10-year-old violinist son Toník, Sonatina in G major was catered to their developing musical abilities. In a letter he wrote at the time of composing, he told his friend that although this piece was intended for youths, it’s perfectly suitable for adult players as well.

The sonatina consists of 4 sections in different paces and styles. I highly recommend learning all of the movements as they all contain different types of techniques that are very useful to practice for intermediate pianists and violinists.

Sheet music

Concerto in A minor Op.3 No.6 – Antonio Vivaldi

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

Although this iconic concerto was not originally composed as a violin and piano duet, its duet arrangements have become an essential part of the violin duet repertoire. Its first movement is featured in Suzuki Violin Book 4.

It’s one of the best Vivaldi works for beginners and intermediate players as it has just the right amount of challenge while keeping both of the duet partners engaged.

Sheet music

Liebesleid – Fritz Kreisler

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

Another well-known title from the violin repertoire, Liebesleid is one of the most beautiful duets for violin and piano. In addition, Fritz Kreisler is one of the gems of the classical violin world. If you haven’t played anything from Kreisler before, Liebesleid is a great one to start with.

It was also featured in the famous piano anime, Your Lie in April.

While it appears to be a relatively easy piece at first as the notes aren’t complicated, the real challenge lies in playing it musically. From different styles of articulation and phrasing to dynamics and tempo changes, there is a lot that goes into playing this piece expressively.

Overall, I believe Liebesleid should be in all piano and violin duos’ repertoire as it sounds heavenly beautiful, is very well-known, and improves the fundamental technical skills of both players.

Sheet music

Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 – Sergei Rachmaninoff

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

Although Rachmaninoff works might sometimes be nightmares for less advanced players, this piece is not one of them! Unlike most works by Rachmaninoff, this piece is quite manageable for intermediate players and above.

This gorgeous Romantic song was originally written for the piano and soprano voice, but it was later arranged for various instrument combinations including the piano and violin.

With its romantic and passionate character, this Rachmaninoff song makes a wonderful piano and violin duet.

Sheet music

Chaconne – Tommaso Antonio Vitali

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

Originally written for the violin and organ in the Baroque era by Vitali, it was published as a violin and piano duet in 1867.

As a Baroque piece, it features typical features of Baroque music, while some atypical features are also present such as abrupt key changes.

This work is incredibly intense, dramatic, and exciting, which requires both players to be fully present and engaged while performing.

Sheet music

Allegro – Joseph Hector Fiocco

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

As its name implies, this famous Baroque duet is very lively and dynamic. It requires both of the players to be comfortable playing at a fast tempo.

Even though it’s an intermediate-level duet, beginner players may still be able to handle it with enough practice. It’s not difficult note-wise, but playing it with good balance and synchrony at a fast pace with your duet partner requires a bit of practice.

For this, I’d recommend practicing slowly with a metronome at first and gradually increasing the speed until both players can play without missing any notes.

Sheet music

 

Best Intermediate Violin and Piano Duet Collections – Quick Overview


Advanced Violin and Piano Duets

Praeludium and Allegro – Fritz Kreisler

  • Violin: Advanced
  • Piano: Advanced

As we already mentioned, Fritz Kreisler is a prominent composer in the classical violin world. His popular work Praeludium and Allegro is regarded as one of the most important steps in violin pedagogy.

It’s a highly technical piece that requires fine bow control and good intonation. For this reason, it’s also perfect to play at auditions and concerts for intermediate and advanced students.

The piano part also has its challenges, requiring good control of dynamics and articulation at a fairly fast pace. It also requires the pianist to have a solid tremolo technique.

I highly recommend this fantastic piece to players who are up for a challenge!

Sheet music

Devil’s Trill Sonata – Giuseppe Tartini

  • Violin: Advanced
  • Piano: Intermediate

The Baroque violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini’s most famous composition Devil’s Trill Sonata is a solo violin work with figured bass accompaniment.

This violin sonata is best known for its technically challenging passages, so it’s another great piece to prepare for auditions. The piano accompaniment of the arrangement linked below is around the intermediate level, so it’s not as difficult as the violin section.

The best thing about this piece is that once you master the challenging parts, it becomes incredibly fun to play with a duet partner!

Sheet music

Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs) – Pablo De Sarasate

  • Violin: Advanced
  • Piano: Intermediate

This composition by Sarasate is regarded as one of the most significant works of the virtuoso violin repertoire. It was originally composed for violin and orchestra, although many duet arrangements have been made for different instrument combinations.

Since the violin notes will be the same as the original composition in most sheet music, the violin part will usually be more difficult than the piano accompaniment.

This work features many advanced violin techniques, hence a good exercise piece for more advanced players.

Sheet music

Symphonie Espagnole Op.21 – Edouard Lalo

  • Violin: Advanced
  • Piano: Advanced

A fabulous violin concerto featuring Spanish motifs throughout, Symphonie Espagnole is among the most popular works of the classical violin repertoire.

I highly recommend that advanced players include this work in their repertoire as it features fundamental techniques of the Romantic era.

Although it’s a long piece with the complete score being 60 pages long, it sounds incredibly powerful and impressive when paired with the piano. Definitely give it a try if you’re looking for a majestic work to impress the audience!

Sheet music

The Dance of the Goblins – Antonio Bazzini

  • Violin: Advanced
  • Piano: Advanced

The Dance of the Goblins is one of the most difficult duets for violin and piano, although playing it is incredibly fun once you master the tough parts.

However, if you’re an intermediate violinist or pianist, it’ll still take a significant amount of time and effort to master it. I’d recommend learning this piece only if you and your duet partner feel ready for the challenges and the patience it’ll take.

Remember that the more you work for something, the more rewarding it feels to reach that goal eventually!

Sheet music

Concerto in D major Op.35 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

  • Violin: Advanced
  • Piano: Advanced

The only violin concerto Tchaikovsky ever composed, Concerto in D Major Op. 35 was inspired by Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole after Tchaikovsky played it on the piano with his violinist partner, Iosif Kotek. 

It’s a very intense and dramatic piece wrapped with different emotions, typical for Tchaikovsky’s works. It means both players should play it expressively and musically to meet the composer’s expectations, which is another challenge of the work.

Still, it’s a very rewarding piece to play and one that any advanced-level duo should have in their repertoire.

Sheet music

 

Best Advanced Violin and Piano Duet Collections – Quick Overview


Piano and Violin Christmas Duets

Silent Night – Franz Gruber

  • Violin: Easy
  • Piano: Easy

I can’t imagine a Christmas without this classic Christmas carol, Silent Night.

There are hundreds of arrangements of this song online for different levels and instrument combinations. You should have no problem finding a suitable arrangement for yourself and your duet partner if the sheet music linked below (it’s free) is too easy for you!

Sheet music

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Johann Sebastian Bach

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

This classical Bach piece is not only perfect to play during Christmas but also at weddings or any Christian holiday like Easter.

Overall, it sounds heavenly beautiful as a violin and piano duet, and is a must-play to capture the Christmas spirit!

Sheet music

Jolly Old St. Nicholas

  • Violin: Easy
  • Piano: Easy

This Christmas piano and violin duet is another fantastic one to play. Its lyrics are lovely as well, so if you have someone to sing along with, playing this duet will become even more fun!

Sheet music

Jingle Bells

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

Any Christmas day without someone playing or singing Jingle Bells will be missing something. It’s one of the best piano and violin duet songs that is incredibly entertaining to play.

This classic Christmas song have hundreds of arrangements for different difficulty levels and instruments, but the one linked below is for intermediate players (free).

Sheet music

Best Violin and Piano Duet Collections for Christmas – Quick Overview


Violin and Piano Duets for Weddings

Canon in D – Johann Pachelbel

  • Different arrangements can be found for different difficulty levels

Canon in D is an incredibly popular classical piece often played at weddings, so I believe it’s familiar to most people.

It’s one of my favorite classical pieces due to its versatility. I’ve played this piece on hundreds of occasions (weddings, church, concerts, festivals) and with different instruments as a duet or a trio (flute, violin, viola, guitar., and every time it becomes the favorite song of the audience.

Another fantastic thing about this piece is that you can be sure it’ll sound incredible on any instrument pairing or solo. So, I highly recommend adding this wedding classic to your repertoire.

Sheet music (Intermediate)

Meditation from Thais  – Jules Massenet

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

Meditation is an intermezzo piece from the famous opera Thais, which was originally written for the violin and orchestra. However, it’s commonly played as a piano and violin duet as well, which sounds fabulous.

It’s a must-play duet for weddings as the piece is incredibly expressive, romantic, and soothing. While it’s not a difficult piece, playing it musically takes a bit of practice for both violinists and pianists. It also requires good bow control and division from the violinist.

Sheet music

Wedding March (Bridal Chorus) – Richard Wagner

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

As its name implies, Wedding March (Bridal Chorus) by Wagner is a famous wedding march traditionally played as the bride walks down the aisle. Therefore, I’d highly recommend having this piece in your repertoire if you’re playing at weddings as it’ll be probably requested.

Even if you won’t perform at a wedding, it’s still a gorgeous piece that is you’ll enjoy playing with your duet partner.

Sheet music

Air from Suite No.3 (on the G string) – Johann Sebastian Bach

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

Air on the G String is another commonly requested piece at weddings, especially from the violin and piano duos.

Although it’s an intermediate-level piece, beginner players might still be able to handle it with enough practice, and I think it’s worth trying!

Sheet music

Ave Maria – Franz Schubert

  • Violin: Intermediate
  • Piano: Intermediate

One of the most beautiful classical songs ever, Ave Maria was written for the piano and voice, though it’s been arranged for many different instrument combinations due to its immense popularity. It’s one of many songs that the violin and piano pair perfectly together.

Although it’s most commonly played at weddings, this piece is suitable for any occasion, so it’s a must-include in your repertoire if you’re a piano and violin duo.

Sheet music

Best Violin and Piano Duet Collections for Weddings – Quick Overview

 

Image Credit: Sugar by 92 KeysCC BY 2.0

Selin Gökova

Selin Gökova is a neo-classical composer and pianist from Istanbul, Turkey. Holding an ABRSM certificate on piano performance, she's been playing the piano and composing for ten years. Wandering Tunes is her side project where she combines her two passions: writing and music.

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Hi, my name is Selin. Playing the piano and composing are my biggest passions. I've founded this blog to share everything I've learned throughout the years about piano playing and learning. I hope you stick around! Read More

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