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Sample: 5'08"-6'38" from "Wild Mountain Thyme"See details ➔
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Violin Concerto in F takes its themes and forms from folk song and dance music of old Europe. The first movement is an extended recasting of the classic Scottish Ballad _Wild Mountain Thyme". After an extended introduction that states the melody of the ballad, the music accelerates and tightens into a jig. Throughout the piece, tension is maintained between the free-flowing natural melody and the choreographic energy of 6/8 time, even during the long cadenza. A brief episode from the ensemble brings the music back to the mood of the opening before finishing on a high, unexpected chord.
The second movement, entitled Reverence, is a synthesis of Balkan choral rhythms and melodies, with shifting bars of 7/8, 3/8, and 5/8. The solo part teams up with principal first and second violin soloists in central episodes reminiscent of choral drone singing of Bulgaria and Macedonia. The title refers to the respect a ballet class shows to their pianist at the end of their time together, and in a greater way the honor we show to those who help to bring our lives meaning.
Brawl, the title of the first movement, refers not to a fistfight but a round dance of the Renaissance that was popular in England and France in which participants play "follow the leader." This dance may be the ancient ancestor of hoedown music, to which it bears a strong resemblance. The opening violin solo is derived from a tune of the great French lutenist Robert Ballard, and is answered by a raucous, offbeat countermelody in the strings. The scope of the rhythmic jousting touches on many disparate styles, including spy movie music and a trace of heavy metal before returning to the reel-and-drone of the beginning.
Commissioned by Santa Rosa Symphony Young People’s Chamber Orchestra
to Erica Challis and Jenny Diaz
1. Wild Mountain Thyme
04 Jun 2003: Performed by the Santa Rosa Symphony Young People’s Chamber Orchestra, directed by Linda Ghidossi-DeLuca with Jenny Diaz (violin) at the Luther Burbank Center for the Performing Arts, anta Rosa, California, USA