Magazine article Strings

Fiddling about with 'Tambourin Chinois' for Violin and Piano

Magazine article Strings

Fiddling about with 'Tambourin Chinois' for Violin and Piano

Article excerpt

This exciting Kreisler piece is a chance to indulge both classical and traditional interests

PLAYING FRITZ KREISLER'S MUSIC feels like what the violin was meant to do. He composed to make people feel something, be it happy, nostalgic, romantic, or excited. It's great fun to work on pulling all those sounds out of the fiddle, and yes, 1 do call it a fiddle!

I studied and performed this piece in college, but hadn't performed it since then. It's really refreshing to revisit it after so many years.

I recently studied this particular work, as well as several other Kreisler pieces, to take part in a concert honoring Irish tenor John McCormack (1884-1945). The two were great friends and performed together frequently, The November 14 concert was the finale of a symposium at Boston College, including an exhibit, lecture, and film footage, and featured operatic material and Irish ballads sung by tenor Bryan Griffin, as well as the Kreisler material, topped off by some Irish folk tunes with Irish fiddling legend Seamus Connolly.

Why am I studying this work? I play in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which primarily involves assimilating huge amounts of notes and fitting them seamlessly into a large ensemble. As a group, we are constantly learning to think as one (with varying degrees of success!), so in my spare time I have turned to folk music - in particular Irish. I play with the Boston-based group Childsplay, and have formed my own worldmusic ensemble, Classical Tangent, for which I arrange tunes from all parts of the world.

I always seem to be immersed in one extreme or another, either classical or folk. …

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