Magazine article Strings

Series of Short Violin Works Offers Something for Everyone

Magazine article Strings

Series of Short Violin Works Offers Something for Everyone

Article excerpt

Series of Short Violin Works Offers Something for Everyone

Edition from the British Royal Schools of Music features 16 pieces under 3 minutes in length

Spectrum for Violin: 16 Contemporary Pieces, compiled by Alexandra Wood. Accompanying CD: Alexandra Wood, violin; Thalia Myers, piano. ABRSM, $35.

THE 16 PIECES IN THIS UNUSUAL COLLECTION were commissioned specifically for the Spectrum series of the British Royal Schools of Music. The composers collaborated with violinist/compiler Alexandra Wood and her pianist, Thalia Myers, adding footnotes and working with them on making the CD. AU are Englishborn and trained, except Joao Pedro Oliveira who is Portugese, and Dobrinka Tabakova who is Bulgarian, but studied in London. Prolific and versatile, all have received multiple awards and prizes.

As Wood notes, the collection contains something for everyone, from fledgling student to accomplished performer. The pieces were chosen for utmost stylistic variety; all are under three minutes in length and arranged in order of progressive difficulty, though some control of bow speed and bow division is necessary from the beginning. David Sawer's "A Fork in the Road" uses two fingers, Michel Gordon's "Joshi's Dance" uses three, and both are rhythmically very simple. After that, all fingers can be used - metrical and rhythmic complexities increase, including the gradual introduction of 5/4, 5/7, and 5/8 time. Tabakova's "Lydian River" (in the Lydian mode) is the first to use higher positions. …

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