Sheet music for Violin

Pergolesi/Magatagan/BSG: Stabat Mater Dolorosa quartet

4 parts3 pages04:463 years ago1,965 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Perhaps this is supremely arrogant. Starting from Mike Magatagan's beautiful string quartet arrangement (https://musescore.com/mike_magatagan/scores/814576), I crafted my own, which does not really pretend to be a "correction" of Mike's work, but of Pergolesi's. Going through Mike's arrangement, I found that the majority of details I found I could not abide were not Mike's, but Pergolesi's, in particular, vast passages of no-thought viola "writing" simply doubling the bass, which happens throughout the Stabat Mater ("col basso" often appears in a 1749 score on IMSLP), and occasionally the viola just flops submissively into the bass. This betrays more than the usual quantum of arrogance, for not only am I "improving" one of the best-loved movements of the Baroque, then and now (Jean-Jacques Rousseau called it "the most perfect and touching duet by any composer" [Wikipedia]), but I am also dealing with a previous attempt to do so by a certain Herr Bach, the cantor of St. Thomas' in Leipzig, who rewrote this masterpiece on the basis of similar objections. Oddly, this Herr Bach did very, very little to the first movement (BWV 1083), and left it pretty much as Pergolesi had it; in other movements, he slashed away and added all kinds of interest. But not in the iconic first movement. So I have taken the arrogant liberty of "finishing" his work by the wholesale rewrite of the viola part with new thematic and harmonic material. It is humbling to think that even the greatest Baroque composers other than Bach were all rough approximations to Bach (even if they didn't know it). In the work as I have left it today (7 May 2015), I have essentially added a third actor to the given screenplay, to the canonic duo of suspension ("dum pendebat"?) chains (first stated in the upper parts in mm. 1-5), and the walking bass, adding a viola dolorosa lamenting in poignant "sighing" figures (sospiri), adding suspended sevenths and fourths and appoggiature to complement Pergolesi's sparse rhythm and harmony. I have exploited (and added) figures in the upper parts, importing them into the viola at other times and intervals, all the tighter to bind the whole. See what you think. ----------------- "Tech notes" Pergolesi’s original calls for two vocal parts (performances differ on whether they be soli or chori) in addition to the strings; his two violins double the vocal parts when the latter sing; the texture is basically a trio, and the viola is like a third wheel, which he occasionally commits to doubling the bass for measures at a stretch, and other times commits to half-note riffs strewn with questionable doublings and barely hidden fifths (the latter I have left alone). In Mike’s quartet texture, the viola is more exposed and cannot duck responsibility as in Pergolesi’s, and to this end I have written the present active part. Students of canon will realize that the famous chain of 3-2 suspensions and jumps of upward fourths which opens the movement is actually a canon at the second (cf., the “Recordare” from Mozart’s “Requiem”). I have generally left the two violins/soli alone, but for correcting some bad doubling in m. 21, reorganizing 31 and 42 for a better viola part (and eliminating spurious doublings), and, notably, supplying mm. 14-15 with an anticipation and “explaining” appoggiature to remedy what I considered an unacceptable tritone (Bb->E upward) in Pergolesi’s score, meanwhile promoting the canon with parallel dissonance resolutions for a very Bachian effect. I rewrote the double-counterpoint in 19-21 to be correct, restoring Pergolesi's theme and countermelody and adding some gratuitous rhythmic interest. [5/5/2015 - I restored Pergolesi's bass rhythms, inserted strategic eighth-rests in the viola part to complement the former, borrowed Mike's superlative Bb-Ab trill for m.17, all'8va, and added a bit more. I added complexity to P's half-note viola riffs to mitigate the hidden fifths, and add more opportunities for motivic imitation).

JSB/Mike Magatagan/BSG: Schafe können sicher weiden (BWV 208.9)

4 parts5 pages06:243 years ago954 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello
This is my rewrite of Mike Magatagan's string quartet arrangement of the famous aria of safely grazing sheep from the Hunting Cantata, BWV 208. Mike has graciously allowed me to correct and enhance his work. My goals here are multiple: to help Mike learn Bachian counterpoint, to enjoy myself, and to post what is now my own work, too; perhaps others can learn. I followed certain ground rules: I did not look at Bach's original--I fixed up Mike's work, not Bach's work. I kept the bass line and violin 1 as Mike had them; I more or less gutted the second violin and added my own, and rewrote the viola heavily. A few times I left entire measures intact (as it were). The technical goals of the rewrite were primarily to fix various sorts of large and small contrapuntal errors; the largest ones were Mike simply duplicating Violin 1 or Viola in violin 2 for a half a measure at a time, and there were ubiquitous unison and octave duplicate gestures, which I remedied, often with simple long notes. There were many missed opportunities for vacant contrapuntal space (resulting in overcrowding!) which I exploited, particularly adding classic suspensions and classic resolutions of 6-4-2's, and enhanced awareness of JSB's beloved half-diminished sevenths (6 5 flat). A second goal was to add interest to the composition over and above what both Bach and Mike had: spicing it with imitations of the recorder head motif, the vocal head motif, and new secondary motifs contributing to measure-by-measure sequences. At one point, mm 12-15, perhaps a bit too ostentatious, where Mike had silence, I was able to supply a canon at the seventh. I even disconnected parallel-sixth head-motif passages from Bach in order to construct a more interesting four-voice texture (Bach's original was basically three-voiced). I strove to keep as much of Mike's architecture and detail as possible, unless I had something sufficiently better to say. There may still be "bugs" unfixed, or even new ones I introduced. Fortunately, this site facilitates score revisions without corrupting dates/stats, etc. There is a huge echo of the texture of the eponymous opening aria of BWV 54, "Widerstehe doch der Sünde" hovering about. Mike and others, enjoy/compare. Mike's original is https://musescore.com/mike_magatagan/scores/821476 .

Partita in C Minor (HWV 444 No. 19) for Violin & Guitar

2 parts5 pages07:494 months ago8,334 views
Violin, Guitar
Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 – 1759) was a true European. He had a German work ethic, Italian passion and a Dutch head for business. And after training in Germany and Italy, from 1711 he went on to win the hearts of the British. He wooed them with his many operas and oratorios, and with instrumental works like his Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Yet during his lifetime, he was renowned not only as an organist, but also as one of the greatest harpsichordists of his day. The public couldn’t get enough of him on the harpsichord, either as a composer or a musician. Evidently times change. However, if we take a closer look at the period during which Handel settled in London, we soon see that people were occupied with the same issues then as they are today. The signing of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 finally brought peace after a long period of war, and with it a lasting balance of power in Europe. It was a historic moment, comparable to the foundation of the European Union. Historic, partly because it was the first time a treaty had been signed not on the battle field but at the negotiating table. For Handel it was a fortunate development as it allowed him to move much more freely around Europe. At the same time, England had not done badly out of the peace deal it had struck in Utrecht. Welfare in the country increased, certainly in London. Handel brought together new and old material, but just what was old and what was new we do not know. Probably some of the work dated from his student days in Germany, some from his years in Italy, and the new material from his time in London. The German folksongs in the Air of the Suite in D Minor and the Passacaille from the Suite in G Major could well have been composed in his German years, as could some of the Fugues. Little is written about this Chaconne & 49 Variations in C Major although they were likely written for Organ or Harpsichord. According to Grove Music, Handel's keyboard pieces were "all probably for harpsichord and written before 1720, unless otherwise stated"; specifically for HWV 485, Grove says "for 2-manual hpd". Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Frideric_Handel). Although originally written for Keyboard, I created this Arrangement of the Partita in C Minor (HWV 444 No. 19) for Violin & Classical Guitar.

Chaconne in F Major (HWV 485) For String Quartet

4 parts8 pages08:494 months ago8,120 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 – 1759) was a true European. He had a German work ethic, Italian passion and a Dutch head for business. And after training in Germany and Italy, from 1711 he went on to win the hearts of the British. He wooed them with his many operas and oratorios, and with instrumental works like his Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Yet during his lifetime, he was renowned not only as an organist, but also as one of the greatest harpsichordists of his day. The public couldn’t get enough of him on the harpsichord, either as a composer or a musician. Evidently times change. However, if we take a closer look at the period during which Handel settled in London, we soon see that people were occupied with the same issues then as they are today. The signing of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 finally brought peace after a long period of war, and with it a lasting balance of power in Europe. It was a historic moment, comparable to the foundation of the European Union. Historic, partly because it was the first time a treaty had been signed not on the battle field but at the negotiating table. For Handel it was a fortunate development as it allowed him to move much more freely around Europe. At the same time, England had not done badly out of the peace deal it had struck in Utrecht. Welfare in the country increased, certainly in London. Handel brought together new and old material, but just what was old and what was new we do not know. Probably some of the work dated from his student days in Germany, some from his years in Italy, and the new material from his time in London. The German folksongs in the Air of the Suite in D Minor and the Passacaille from the Suite in G Major could well have been composed in his German years, as could some of the Fugues. Little is written about this Chaconne & 49 Variations in C Major although they were likely written for Organ or Harpsichord. According to Grove Music, Handel's keyboard pieces were "all probably for harpsichord and written before 1720, unless otherwise stated"; specifically for HWV 485, Grove says "for 2-manual hpd". Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Frideric_Handel). Although originally written for Keyboard, I created this Interpretation of the Chaconne in F Major (HWV 485) for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (BWV 147 No 10) for String Trio

3 parts2 pages03:123 years ago5,858 views
Violin, Viola, Cello
Johann Sebastian Bach's sacred Cantata No. 147 "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" (BWV 147) (Heart and Mouth, Deeds and Life), was written for the feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary and first performed in its final definitive form in Leipzig to mark the feast day, July 2, 1723. Much of the work originated during the composer's tenure as Konzertmeister in Weimar, where upon his appointment in 1714 he also assumed responsibility for the provision of a new cantata each month for services held in the Duke's chapel. In its earliest form (BWV 147a), this cantata was intended to be given on the fourth Sunday of Advent, 1716. This version contained four main arias and an opening chorus, but no recitative sections, three of which were added later, along with the great chorale, which brings each of the main sections to its close. The autograph of the Leipzig version survives intact, but all except the opening movement of the first version has perished. Interestingly, the composer's original design for the Advent feasts at Weimar would have been considered entirely unsuitable by the church authorities in Leipzig, who had forbidden the performance of all concert music during this period of the liturgical year. Bach managed to overcome this restriction by incorporating references to the "Magnificat" (Luke 1: 39-56) into the score, thus tailoring the cantata specifically to the Feast of the Visitation. The final version begins with an elaborate chorus in C major, in which the celebratory tone is established by the fanfare-like opening section for orchestra. Part I concludes with the famous chorale known in English as "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring is the most common English title of the 10th movement of the cantata. Although it is the 32nd surviving cantata that Bach composed, it was assigned the number BWV 147 in the complete catalogue of his works. Bach wrote a total of 200 cantatas during his time in Leipzig, largely to meet the Leipzig Churches' demand for about 58 different cantatas each year. Contrary to the common assumption, the violinist and composer Johann Schop, not Bach, composed the movement's underlying chorale melody, Werde munter, mein Gemüthe; Bach's contribution was to harmonize and orchestrate it. The frequent use of arrangements of the piece in modern weddings is in no way related to its scope or Bach's intent for it. Rather, it was one segment of an extended, approximately 20-minute treatment of a traditional Church hymn, as is typical of cantatas of the Baroque period. Although originally composed as a choral cantata, I created this arrangement for String Trio (Violin, Viola & Cello).

"Fossils" from the "Carnival of the Animals" for Winds & Strings

13 parts7 pages01:212 years ago2,767 views
Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn, Bassoon, Percussion, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
"The Carnival of the Animals" is a musical suite of fourteen movements by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns. It was composed in February 1886 while Saint-Saëns was vacationing in a small Austrian village. It was originally scored for a chamber group of flute/piccolo, clarinet (B flat and C), two pianos, glass harmonica, xylophone, two violins, viola, cello and double bass, but is usually performed today with a full orchestra of strings, and with a glockenspiel substituting for the rare glass harmonica. The term for this rare 11-piece musical ensemble is a "hendectet" or an "undectet." Saint-Saëns, apparently concerned that the piece was too frivolous and likely to harm his reputation as a serious composer, suppressed performances of it and only allowed one movement, Le cygne, to be published in his lifetime. Only small private performances were given for close friends like Franz Liszt. Saint-Saëns did, however, include a provision which allowed the suite to be published after his death. It was first performed on 26 February 1922, and it has since become one of his most popular works. It is a favorite of music teachers and young children, along with Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. In fact, it is very common to see any combination of these three works together on modern CD recordings. Movement 12. Fossiles (Fossils) Strings, two pianos, clarinet, and xylophone: Here, Saint-Saëns mimics his own composition, the Danse macabre, which makes heavy use of the xylophone to evoke the image of skeletons playing card games, the bones clacking together to the beat. The musical themes from Danse macabre are also quoted; the xylophone and the violin play much of the melody, alternating with the piano and clarinet. The piano part is especially difficult here - octaves that jump in quick thirds. Allusions to "Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman" (better known in the English-speaking world as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star), the French nursery rhymes "Au clair de la lune", and "J'ai du bon tabac" (the piano plays the same melody upside down), the popular anthem Partant pour la Syrie, as well as the aria Una voce poco fa from Rossini's The Barber of Seville can also be heard. Although originally written for 2 Pianos & Orchestra, I created this arrangement for Winds (Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).

Bourrée in E Minor (BWV 996) for Violin & Viola

2 parts1 page01:523 years ago5,491 views
Violin, Viola
Bourrée in E minor is a popular lute piece, the fifth movement from Suite in E minor for Lute, BWV 996 (BC L166) written by Johann Sebastian Bach. This piece is arguably one of the most famous pieces among guitarists. A bourrée was a type of dance that originated in France with quick duple meter and an upbeat. Though the bourrée was popular as a social dance and shown in theatrical ballets during the reign of Louis XIV of France, the Bourrée in E minor was not intended for dancing. Nonetheless, some of the elements of the dance are incorporated in the piece. Bach wrote his lute pieces in a traditional score rather than in lute tablature, and some believe that Bach played his lute pieces on the keyboard. No original script of the Suite in E minor for Lute by Bach is known to exist. However, in the collection of one of Bach's pupils, Johann Ludwig Krebs, there is one piece ("Praeludio - con la Suite da Gio: Bast. Bach") that has written "aufs Lauten Werck" ("for the lute-harpsichord") in unidentified handwriting. Some argue that despite this reference, the piece was meant to be played on the lute as demonstrated by the texture. Others argue that since the piece was written in E minor, it would be incompatible with the baroque lute which was tuned to D minor. Nevertheless, it may be played with other string instruments, such as the guitar, mandola or mandocello, and keyboard instruments, and it is especially well-known among guitarists. The tempo of the piece should be fairly quick and smooth, since it was written to be a dance. It also demonstrates counterpoint, as the two voices move independently of one another. Furthermore, the Bourrée in E minor demonstrates binary form. Although originally written for Lute, I created this arrangement for Violin & Viola.

"Je te Veux" for String Quintet

5 parts7 pages04:513 years ago5,206 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
"Je te veux" (French for I want you) is a song composed by Erik Satie to a text by Henry Pacory. A sentimental, slow waltz, it was originally written for the singer Paulette Darty, whose accompanist Satie had been for a period of time. During the 1900's, Erik Satie produced several first rate cafe songs and music hall pieces, which include "Je te veux" - a graceful French waltz and "Le Piccadilly" - with a strong Scott Joplin ragtime flavour. This song was registered on November 1902, but some argue it had actually been composed in 1897. Satie composed various versions of the Je te veux waltz, including one for piano. I created this arrangement from the Piano version for String Quintet (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).

Corelli Concerto Grosso op. 6 n. 8

7 parts24 pages13:562 years ago2,514 views
Violin(2), Cello, Strings(4)
The well known "Fatto per la notte di Natale" (Christmas Concerto) by Arcangelo Corelli. I think this is the original version though I've seen another "original" with basso continuo (harpsichord). 1st Mov. - Vivace, Grave 2nd Mov. - Allegro 3rd Mov. - Adagio, Allegro, Adagio 4th Mov. - Vivace 5th Mov. - Allegro 6th Mov. - Pastorale ad libitum (Largo) Though I've inputted notes mostly from a version on paper, I also had the benefit of using MuseScore version from others, namely the excellent one by Mike Magatagan.

"Concerto II" for Oboe & Strings in D Minor

5 parts13 pages09:315 years ago3,760 views
Oboe, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Alessandro Marcello (1669 - 1747) was an Italian nobleman, poet, philosopher, mathematician and musician. A contemporary of Tomaso Albinoni, Marcello was the son of a senator in Venice. As such, he enjoyed a comfortable life that gave him the scope to pursue his interest in music. He held concerts in his hometown and also composed and published several sets of concertos, including six concertos under the title of La Cetra (The Lyre), as well as cantatas, arias, canzonets, and violin sonatas. Marcello, being a slightly older contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi, often composed under the pseudonym Eterio Stinfalico, his name as a member of the celebrated Arcadian Academy (Pontificia Accademia degli Arcadi). He died in Padua in 1747. The Concerto for Oboe and Strings in D minor by Alessandro Marcello is one of the most performed oboe concertos in the repertory. It was written in the early 18th century and has become Marcello's most famous work. In the past, and continuing to the present, it has been mistakenly attributed to both Alessandro Marcello's brother Benedetto Marcello and to Antonio Vivaldi. Johann Sebastian Bach made the piece famous by writing a transcription of the piece in C minor for harpsichord (BWV 974). I have also ccreated an arrangement of the adagio (Movement 2) for English Horn & Harp at: http://musescore.com/mike_magatagan/adagio-from-concerto-ii-for-english-horn-and-harp

Violin Concerto in D Major (RV 204 Op. 4 No. 11) for String Quartet

4 parts17 pages06:143 years ago3,535 views
Violin, Strings(3)
Although Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) had already accomplished himself as a composer of violin sonatas and of sacred music, nothing propelled his career more than his first set of concertos -- L'estro armonico (Op.3) -- which first appeared in 1711. Besides being widely popular with both musicians and audiences of the day, L'estro armonico had a significant impact on the development of the relatively new solo-concerto. The set's influence was felt all across Europe -- no less a figure than J.S. Bach transcribed six of the Op.3 concertos for keyboard. La Stravaganza (Op. 4) appeared shortly after, in around 1713, and was dedicated to Vettor Dolfin (the surname given in its Tuscan form, Delfino), a young Venetian noble to whom Vivaldi had taught the violin. While enormously successful in it's own right, this set of twelve concertos was a complete departure from Op.3. While the influence of the Corellian concerto grosso had been significant in L'estro armonico, in La Stravaganza Vivaldi severed himself completely from past traditions. The Op.4 set is characterized by harmonic daring, passage work bordering on the bizarre, and a new, uniquely flexible, solo-concerto "form" that would become so typical of Vivaldi. The originality and variety of material is also noteworthy; each work seems to systematically refute a different aspect of the traditional concerto, and even some standards of composition at the time. All this is not without its own sense of musical humor. However, the set also demonstrates the care the composer took over the selection and grouping of works destined for publication; i.e. grouping the concertos into pairs -- one major, one minor -- with an adjustment made to ensure that the whole set ends in major. The Op.4 concertos are the earliest examples of a theatri al conception of the solo concerto to be offered to international audiences of music lovers. This, even more than Vivaldi's daring writing for the solo violin, is the true significance of the word stravaganza in the title. Indeed, among Vivaldi's printed works, the road to the future is marked by the Stravaganza concerti rather than those of L'estro armonico. Vivaldi would never retrace his steps in the direction of Op.3, and the collections which followed Op.4 further develop the concept of the instrumental solo as outlined in Op.4. This Concerto in D Major for violin (RV 204 Op. 4 No. 11), is eleventh in the Op.4 set and although originally scored for Violin and Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello, Bass & Continuo), I created this arrangement for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Aria: "Schafe können sicher weiden" (Sheep May Safely Graze: BWV 208 No 9) for String Quartet

4 parts4 pages06:243 years ago3,285 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd (The lively hunt is all my heart's desire), BWV 208, also known as the Hunting Cantata, is a secular cantata composed in 1713 by Johann Sebastian Bach for the 31st birthday of Duke Christian of Saxe-Weissenfels on 23 February 1713. The aria "Schafe können sicher weiden" ("Sheep May Safely Graze"), is the most familiar part of this cantata. It is Bach's earliest surviving secular cantata, composed while he was employed as court organist in Weimar. The work may have been intended as a gift from Bach's employer, William Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, for his neighbouring ruler, Duke Christian, who was a keen hunter. Bach is known to have stayed in Weißenfels in 1713 for the birthday celebrations. He went on to earn more commissions from Saxe-Weissenfels, and in 1729, Bach was appointed Royal Kapellmeister, but this position as court composer did not require residence at court. The text is by Salomon Franck, the Weimar court poet, who published it in Geist- und Weltlicher Poesien Zweyter Theil (Jena, 1716). As was common at the time, Franck's flattering text draws on mythological references. Franck also followed convention in associating good government with the hunt: the text praises Duke Christian as a wise ruler as well as a keen hunter. In reality, the Duke was to prove a spendthrift whose habits resulted in the financial collapse of his duchy. Bach appears to have revived the work a few years after its original performance, this time in honour of Duke Ernst-August, the co-ruler of Saxe-Weimar, who was also a hunter. Bach often re-used music written for "one-off" occasions, but this cantata is unusual for the extent to which he recycled it. While he was living in Leipzig he arranged music from two arias for the church cantata Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt, BWV 68, composed in 1725. Also Bach appears to have re-arranged the music in 1740 for cantata BWV 208a. The score for this piece is now lost, but the text is an adaptation of the original cantata to honour the name day of Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. here has been speculation that the cantata opened with a sinfonia (BWV 1046a), which has similar scoring to the cantata and is an early version of Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major (BWV 1046). The sinfonia seems to be intended for more able horn players than required for the cantata, and may have been composed later, but it appears in some recorded versions of the cantata, for example those of Goodman and Suzuki. Although originally scored for Horns, recorders, oboes, taille, bassoon, violins, viola, cello, violone, and continuo, I created this arrangement for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
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"Riu, Riu, Chiu" a Spanish Christmas Carol for String Quartet

4 parts1 page01:333 years ago3,221 views
Violin(2), Guitar, Cello
"Riu, Riu, Chiu" is a 16th Century Spanish villancico by an anonymous composer. The villancico is attributed by some sources to Mateo Flecha the Elder, who died in 1553. The villancico is verse, set to popular dance rhythms, depicting pastoral Nativity scenes with a country flavor (animals and shepherds). It was written in so-called villancico style, which became a popular form for songs in post-Renaissance Spain. Such songs are in ternary form, with a text expressing some aspect of Christian principles or beliefs. "Riu, Riu, Chiu" became one of the more widely known such works in its time. The author of this carol is generally thought to be anonymous, but its text, possibly originally written in Portuguese, has been attributed by some to Mateo Flecha (1481-1553). The melody to Riu, riu, chiu probably dates to the fifteenth century or earlier. The words in the title are vocalizations of the sounds made by a nightingale. The main theme is lively and rhythmic and has an instant appeal, lingering in the mind long after one or two hearings. It exudes folk-ish color. One hears a mixture of Renaissance-era elegance here with a sort of peasant-like festivity. Its text speaks of the roles of the Blessed Mother and the Redeemer. This piece was popularized by the Monkees when they performed it acapella for their TV Christmas special in 1967: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko94b3I0X0Y Although originally intended to be sung by a lone male voice, with the main choir singing the chorus, I created this arrangement for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

"Danse Macabre" (Opus 40) for Harp & Strings

7 parts30 pages07:302 years ago3,149 views
Violin(3), Viola, Cello, Contrabass, Harp
The "Danse Macabre" (Opus 40) was written as a tone poem for orchestra in 1874 by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. It started out in 1872 as an art song for voice and piano with a French text by the poet Henri Cazalis, which is based in an old French superstition. In 1874, the composer expanded and reworked the piece into a tone poem, replacing the vocal line with a solo violin. Normally heard as a symphonic performance, this piece is unusual as an arrangement for Harp and Strings however, I created this arrangement to emphasize macabre elements and uniquely dynamic range of the Concert (Pedal) Harp. I took liberal license in my interpretation of the original score, and as such, this arrangement is uniquely my "vision" of how this piece sounds to me. According to the ancient superstition, "Death" appears at midnight every year on Halloween. Death has the power to call forth the dead from their graves to dance for him while he plays his fiddle (represented by strings on the Swell with its "E-string" tuned to an "E-flat" in an example of scordatura tuning). His skeletons dance for him until the first break of dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year. The intrepretation in Measure 25+ is of a solo violin playing the tritone (or "Devil's interval") consisting of an A and an E-flat—in an example of scordatura tuning, the violinist's E string has actually been tuned down to an E-flat to create the dissonant tritone. Starting at Measure 173, is a melodic quote of the "Dies irae", a Gregorian chant from the Requiem Mass that is melodically related to the work's second theme. The Dies irae is presented in a major key, which is unusual. The abrupt break in the texture at measure 456 represents the dawn breaking (a cockerel's crow, played on the melody) and the skeletons returning to their graves. Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danse_Macabre) and other sources. I created this arrangement from the orchestral work for Concert (Pedal) Harp & Strings (Violins, Violas, Cellos & Basses).

Gavotte in F Major for Violin & Viola

2 parts3 pages03:053 years ago3,147 views
Violin, Viola
Giovanni Battista Martini (1706 – 1784), also known as Padre Martini, was an Italian musician. Grandly and misleadingly called "one of the most famous figures in eighteenth century music" by over-specialized musicologists, Giovanni Battista Martini was an important personality in the narrow confines of Italian music and counterpoint pedagogy. Described as both affable and arrogant, Martini was a supportive and much sought-after teacher; his students included the young Mozart and J.C. Bach. Martini enjoyed substantial early musical training, but at age 15 he decided he wanted to become a monk and was sent to a monastery. This residency lasted about a year; in late 1722 he returned to his native Bologna to become an organist at the church of St. Francesco. In 1725 he became that church's maestro di cappella, a position he would hold until near the end of his long life. He was ordained a priest in 1729. Padre Martini's first published works appeared in 1734, a collection called Litaniae atque antiphonae finales Beatae Virginis Mariae; after this liturgical beginning, Martini would eventually publish three collections of secular music. Among his honors were election to the Academy of the Bologna Institute of Science in 1758, the Bologna Philharmonic Academy (in the same year), and the Arcadian Academy in Rome in 1776. He was offered jobs at the Vatican and perhaps in Padua, but Martini preferred his employment in Bologna; indeed, his trips out of town were few and far between. He was a hard worker and easily likable, inspiring great affection in personalities as different as Mozart and Charles Burney. Yet he was also in many respects an adamant musical reactionary, resisting French innovations in music theory and the progressive tendencies of even his fellow-countryman Tartini (with whom he nonetheless remained on cordial terms). His fees from teaching counterpoint and singing enabled him to amass a huge personal music library (perhaps 17,000 volumes by 1770), as well as a collection of 300 portraits of musicians; eventually, getting one's portrait into Martini's hands was equivalent to a modern Hollywood celebrity having "arrived" by getting a set of footprints onto the Walk of Fame. Martini wrote extensively on ancient Greek music and plainchant (which he considered to be a particularly expressive form of music), and published a volume of excerpts for the teaching of advanced counterpoint. His own music, however, was largely homophonic, skewed to high voices. A major exception to this tendency was his 1742 Sonate d'intavolatura, which employed a rich counterpoint suggesting a familiarity with Bach. Although originally written for Viol a de Gamba and Continuo, I created this arrangement for Violin & Viola.

"Trotto" for Flute & Strings

4 parts3 pages01:344 years ago3,111 views
Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello
Very little evidence survives about medieval dance except what can be gleaned from paintings and works of literature from this time period. Some names of the dances which we know existed during the Middle Ages. Usually attached to the spirited skipping dance known as a "saltarello," the trotto is a Medieval dance that existed in many European countries. A particularly lively and fascinating trotto, often performed by instrumental groups dedicated to authentic historical reconstruction, comes from fourteenth-century manuscripts. The tune is joyfully infused with the triple meter swing of the type of music that depicts horse riding and the fox hunt ("trotto" is Italian for the verb "to trot"). The melody is in a pure Aeolian (minor) mode, usually played here on the tonic of C. The dancers must have had a wonderful time keeping up with all the asymmetrical rhythmical surprises and turn-arounds producing a feeling of floating "over the beat." Although originally written for period instruments & percussion I created this arrangement for Flute and Strings (Violin, Viola & Cello).

"Hallelujah, Amen" from "Judas Maccabaeus" (HWV 63) for Piano & String Quartet

5 parts5 pages01:254 years ago3,055 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Piano
"Judas Maccabaeus" (HWV 63) is an oratorio in three acts composed in 1746 by George Frideric Handel based on a libretto written by Thomas Morell. The oratorio was devised as a compliment to the victorious Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland upon his return from the Battle of Culloden (16 April 1746). Other catalogues of Handel's music have referred to the work as HG xxii; and HHA 1/24. Morell's libretto is based on the deuterocanonical 1 Maccabees (2-8), with motives added from the Antiquitates Judaicae by Flavius Josephus. The events depicted in the oratorio are from the period 170-160 BC when Judea was ruled by the Seleucid Empire which undertook to destroy the Jewish religion. Being ordered to worship Zeus, many Jews obeyed under the threat of persecution, however some did not. One who defied was the elderly priest Mattathias who killed a fellow Jew who was about to offer a pagan sacrifice. After tearing down a pagan altar, Mattathias retreated to the hills and gathered others who were willing to fight for their faith. "Hallelujah, Amen" is from ACT III depicting Victory that has finally been achieved for the Jewish people. News arrives that Rome is willing to form an alliance with Judas against the Seleucid empire. The people rejoice that peace has at last come to their country (O lovely peace). Although originally written for Opera, I created this arrangement for Acoustic Piano & String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

"Pavane for a Dead Princess" for String Quintet

5 parts4 pages04:073 years ago2,835 views
Violin(2), Viola(2), Cello
Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess) is a well-known piece written for solo piano by the French composer Maurice Ravel in 1899 when he was studying composition at the Conservatoire de Paris under Gabriel Fauré. Ravel also published an orchestrated version of the Pavane in 1910. Ravel described the piece as "an evocation of a pavane that a little princess might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court". The pavane was a slow processional dance that enjoyed great popularity in the courts of Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This antique miniature is not meant to pay tribute to any particular princess from history, but rather expresses a nostalgic enthusiasm for Spanish customs and sensibilities, which Ravel shared with many of his contemporaries (most notably Debussy and Albéniz) and which is evident in some of his other works such as the Rapsodie espagnole and the Boléro. Although originally written for solo piano, I created this arrangement for String Quintet (2 Violins, 2 Violas & Cello).

Violin Concerto in E Major (RV 263 Op. 9 No. 4) for String Quartet

4 parts22 pages10:103 years ago2,831 views
Violin, Strings(3)
Although Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) had already accomplished himself as a composer of violin sonatas and of sacred music, nothing propelled his career more than his first set of concertos -- L'estro armonico (Op.3) -- which first appeared in 1711. Besides being widely popular with both musicians and audiences of the day, L'estro armonico had a significant impact on the development of the relatively new solo-concerto. The set's influence was felt all across Europe -- no less a figure than J.S. Bach transcribed six of the Op.3 concertos for keyboard. La cetra, Op. 9, is a set of twelve violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi, published in 1727. All of them are for violin solo, strings, and basso continuo, except No. 9 in B flat, which features two solo violins. The set was named after the cetra, a lyre-like instrument, and was dedicated to Emperor Charles VI. La Cetra may not be as well known or as frequently recorded as either Vivaldi's Op. 8 (including the Four Seasons) or Op. 3, L'Estro Armonico, but it is well worth having in your collection. These twelve concertos offer a great deal of rewarding music: beautiful serenades, haunting largos, and even an occasional melody borrowed from the Seasons, fitted out with a striking new accompaniment. In La Cetra, Vivaldi frequently achieves a new level of expressiveness combined with virtuosity which helped pave the way for devilish exploits of Paganini. With a performance as frankly romantic as I Musici's, it's easy to make the connection between these two Italian giants. I created this transcription of the Violin Concerto in E Major (RV 263 Op. 9 No. 4) for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).