Learning The Hardest Violin Piece. Ever.

In two years’ time we’ll play that. Well, that’s the goal. We’ll… We’ll pledge to try and learn that piece in two years. “Let us remind Brett and Eddy that they’re going to play the Paganini Nel cor sum putanto.” Is that what it’s called? One of the hardest violin pieces ever written, played by one of the most genius violinists we’ve ever had the chance to meet. – We were…
– We just offhandedly said like, “Oh, we should like, – learn this in like, two years’ time.”
– “Let’s just do it. Hahahaha…” And of course, two years just go like this. ‘Cause we’re busy practicing and making videos. Today is the 28th of September. We have… Two months. – We procrastinated a bit.
– Just about. But you know what? It’s fine. Nothing… Practicing can’t do. It’s probably… – …not that hard.
– So let’s just, let’s just try it. Yeah, this should be alright. Is that pizz harmonic?! How do you pizz harmonic? Oh, BRO! There’s two lines! Since when do violins have two lines? Bro! Frickin’ hell! Oh, f… That was three lines. His vibrato! He’s vibrating the left hand pizz! Why did we leave it ’til now? We should’ve started in Salzburg that day. He was 16 then! Bro! Yeah, ’cause you can’t— Bro, I can’t do— It’s a fourth…! It’s a What? How do you play that?! R.I.P. It’s a trill! Your trill is going, It’s supposed to be, You’re going, We’re so sc— Oh my g— Dude, it’s ELEVEN pages! I need like, a month a page, to be honest. Holy moly, the phrasing. Ho…ly… What’s that? Double stops with pizzicatos? Bruh. This is not fun. I know. It’s not fun, it’s actually not fun! This piece of music is not fun to play. – What was that?
– Dude, I’m getting cramps. That was one bar! Dude, this is a ticket to RSI. Yeah! – What is that?!
– Bro, what is this? Who does it? How do you do that? Dude. – Oh yeah we got this, yeah yeah.
– Two scores again. I think that tenths trill really messed me up. This is how you injure violinists! – Oh, do you remember this one?
– Ohh, yeah! He did an upbow! You remember what his advice was? – “Just smile and relax!”
– “Relax,” yeah! – Do you know what I just realized?
– What? I was tensing my buttcheek. Well, we’ll see you guys in two months. We won’t. I just spent the last 30 minutes trying to figure out two lines of harmonics. This one took me forever to figure out. Ooh! Tsk. Ah, that’s just evil. Having practiced the piece, I realized just how many difficult techniques there are inside this piece that, for those of you that don’t play the violin, maybe you guys aren’t able to appreciate. So I want to kind of highlight just some of the ridiculous devilish things that, uh… Paganini put into this piece. And hopefully this will give you guys all a greater appreciation of how much of an insane genius Ziyu is for playing that piece. Eddy: So right off here in the beginning you’ll notice I’m playing a four-note chord. And that’s actually not what’s written in the original. The original was a three-note chord, but um… I’m doing four notes because that’s what Ziyu did in the competition. Because, obviously, Paganini is too easy for him. And here, you’ll notice these very tricky… changes between ricochet and trills. In fact, the ricochets will come in a lot more throughout the rest of the piece. So here is the first really tricky diminished octave, which… Ziyu does at like, an insane speed. And here is a insane progression of chords, which is actually really hard to get in tune, but also make a… Make a nice kind of, sound and a phrase that goes throughout. And it’s easy to get hand cramps here, and it’s only the first page. So this next section is the main theme. Now, instead of just introducing the main theme, Paganini decided to add left hand pizzicato with this. So in the music, you’ll actually see that there’s two lines in the music. The violinist is required to both play the melody while doing the accompaniment in the left hand at the same time, which is very tricky to do, especially in a way that… is still musical, and makes the melody flow. Here you have a bunch of left hand pizzicato. It’s always tricky to keep the bow smooth on the open D and not get affected by it. And as if that wasn’t enough, Paganini throws in a few upbow staccatos and upbow fly staccatos here, with the left hand pizz and the melody. And that was the first variation, which is a very bright and, uh… virtuosic… variation, featuring lots of double stops and thirds. Which, as you all know, is very hard to play in tune on the violin. And now, just to make it more interesting, he also throws in a few ricochet passages. And here’s an example of where I did a four-octave arpeggio instead of three octaves. Again, I was just inspired by Ziyu’s rendition, and actually throughout the piece, Ziyu continually finds little places to just add a bit flair to make it even harder, because the original was actually just three octaves. Variation is probably, uh… very easy to generate hand cramps and RSI, because it’s basically trills, with double stops the entire time. So, not only am I doing different double stops that require different, kind of me maneuvering my left hand into different positions, often being challenging or uncomfortable positions, but then I’m also doing very very fast trills. I think the key to this section, to make it sound good, is, again, that the melody sounds uninterrupted, as if it was just someone playing the melody, and meanwhile still also having that accompaniment of the trills. Kind of like a similar concept to the left hand pizzicato, except this time with trills. So this next variation is … one of the most difficult sections, because it features something called double harmonics. And double harmonics are very hard to get them in tune, and get them to speak. To make it even harder, it’s alternating with a bunch of left hand pizzicato. So, you’re constantly having to switch gears, which is challenging. Speaking of switching gears, here he throws in a bunch of arpeggios and ricochets, amongst the double harmonics. Practicing this passage was especially tricky because I spent a lot of time just trying to figure out how to even sound these harmonics, because it’s a technique that’s very rarely used in common repertoire. And we kind of just come across it in, basically, just Paganini and a few other crazy violin composers. Now this next section is basically left hand pizz. Which, as we all know, I wish Brett was the one doing this, because he’s the perfect pizz boy. Now finally, a slow section. A slow variation. Except it’s all on the G string, which makes it kind of challenging to make a very nice tone while also being in tune. Now this final variation is freaking annoying. Yeah basically, it requires you to do ricochet across four strings. And to have it bounce evenly while your left hand is constantly switching between very awkward and uncomfortable chord positions, many of which requires you to stretch over 10ths, 11ths, or even 12ths. Yeah, Paganini had big hands, what can I say. This is it! The promised day. Kind of regretting that we only started learning this piece— Well, I only started learning this piece less than 2 months before the date. But enough with the excuses! So, here it is: the Paganini, in full. I’m gonna do it all in one take. Everything is one go, from beginning to end. #nofilter.

100 thoughts on “Learning The Hardest Violin Piece. Ever.”

  1. Was that written as a serious piece of music, or a practice drill ment to induce nightmares?

    Congratulations to Eddy for getting through it.

  2. 0) Such a great effort in so little time. Thank You So Much!
    1) Did you memorize that? If yes, that alone….!
    2) I suspect the violin may have the most technical dimensions!
    3) Piano at the concert level is like advanced typing compared to this.
    4) If Pag went to Hell, the Devil wouldn't let him in – only room for One Devil!
    5) Ziyu is a space alien masquerading as a human!

  3. I have watched this multiple times, never fails to give me a headache and a deeper appreciation for what they do for us and a deeper resentment toward paganini

  4. I was going to just move unto the next video after I saw him do a couple lines, proof enough for me but when I saw him make a pained face I had to watch it all from there. That was a face of a man that just practiced nonstop for who knows how long and I had to watch the rest out of respect. Damn, I wish I was this dedicated on any instrument. Amazing work

  5. I actually tried to follow some of the sheet music but the chords' fingerings were really weird. I also hurty hand alot. Unbelievably hard, great job.

  6. Eddy, I know I am a few months late but I just viewed this video from start to finish and I think it was amazing even though I do not play the violin. This is the best birthday present ever! (Yes, my birthday is on 11th of December)

  7. Like trying to learn "classical thump" on bass guitar by Victor Wooten.
    If you want to see a real master play it , check out Charles Berthoud's cover.

  8. Until this video…. I had no idea of the violin's existence (so exposed). You gave a master class… free ,,,"O.O",,, Dude, thanks? My brain broken now. I go sleep before die

  9. You have got to one one of the very rare YouTubers whose contents combine real mega talent with humour and fun!👍👍👍

  10. This was monstrous! Impressive work, Eddy! For just a couple of months, this turned out impeccable! The whole community is definitely proud of you!!!

    Infinite respect
    And it's so weird and interesting how for violinists 64th note runs are easy and double harmonics are hard af while as a pianist its the opposite

  12. Were so scr—oh my god.
    I love that way too much omg
    its the sound you make when your parents are coming home and you lost your little brother

  13. Eddy… My dude… Just… Wow. 😲😲😲🤯🤯🤯❤️💜💙 I play the piano and I remember the horror music theory presented, so when I see these music sheets I shiver. Great job! 👏👏👏👏👏🎉🎉🎉

  14. as a lapsed violinist this music inspires awe and fear. We must all applaud eddy for learning this so quickly
    but also low key I see what people mean when they say paganini made a deal with satan, because it really is a devilish piece.

  15. very impressive and i am very grateful to have heard you play this thank you very much.
    your videos are excellent, informative and even inspirational so much so tomorrow ( 19/02/2020) my first violin will arrive and i will begin the journey to playing amazing pieces like this. i hope i see you both in the UK some time and maybe i will even be good enough to play by then haha.

  16. When I finally understand “harmonics”, I found your harmonics super lit! I only found out about harmonics recently, yet I can imagine such technique and hard work to produce such enchanting sound! (even feel tingling a little bit at my finger tip) not to mention a vibrato harmonics (like wtf). Thanks for the enlightenment and beautiful playing of yours ❤️❤️❤️

  17. You're the man!

    Wish you all the best…

    Hopefully there is 2setviolin tutorial 😁


  18. You're the man!

    Wish you all the best…

    Hopefully there is 2setviolin tutorial 😁


  19. Ok this might sound stupid to most of you but at 12:30 there is that long slur, why didnt eddy play it in one stroke and what is the rule to separate it? Waiting for answer in tears

  20. Sometimes I forget that Paganini is long dead and I can't just look up a video with him playing this to compare the two and then I get all sad…

  21. Was explaining some extended technique stuff to a new student and I was like…wait…I have the perfect video for you to see all of the bad things that can happen to YOU in the future if you stick with it!

  22. Absolutely amazing! I can't imagine the level of work that went into learning and playing that. Thank you it was beautiful!

  23. Can we just appreciate that he managed to learn it cos I was following the music and just chilling in bed became a brain explosion.

    Btw: 21:15 when you nail the hard part.

  24. I swear i watch ur stuff like the TV show every time I get off of work like every time I go to your page I look for a new episode kind of thing I love the content and I love listening to the music that you guys play obviously compositions of others but you guys are great at what you do and I love watching your videos plus the violin is a wonderful instrument and I love listening to the sound

  25. Eddy!! This is par excellence.
    Too late for me to watch this video, after it's release, but this is so brilliant and What an inspiration!!! Just beautiful..!! 👏👏👏
    Lot of respect for the efforts you put in, which is truly visible here. Memorising this piece itself seems like a dream.

  26. I don't get the piece really. I love classical music – but this piece is a bit too random for my taste. But amazing job Eddy … fantastic – looks like you even played it by heart ….

  27. A not completely perfect performance of this piece made me feel like it was played to me by a friend and not by a LingLing violin-deity.. <3

  28. Love the follow-along at the bottom of the screen! I think that did more to help me learn sheet music, than an actual class. Amazing results from all your practicing, you really made the piece sing!

  29. Wow.

    That is all. What a treat to see the journey from initial comedic horror to acceptance to a true professional showing enormous musicality, respect for the music and sheer bloody determination to master the beast.

    Eddy, take a bow. A long, deep, exhausted bow. Bravo, maestro.

    I love it when they perform seriously. The contrast with their goofy videos is actually profoundly impressive, on both fronts. Thank you, Twoset.

  30. It seems to me that Paganini would fail current composition modules at university, because they are almost impossible to play!

  31. two setcan you review or roast the vid where there is a blue dressed lady playing the violin super badlook at the previous commenthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12c9ZVK-u6s
    or look at that link.

  32. two set
    can you review or roast the vid where there is a blue dressed lady playing the violin super bad
    look at the previous comment
    or look at that link.

  33. When I watched this, there was very little internet connection in my house. When Brett's head was reloading, I reloaded the video because I thought the internet was having trouble.

  34. As a pianist, my left hand is helplessly retarded compared to the right hand, especially for trills. Wouldn't violin be easier if the right hand were assigned to the strings? ^^

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