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Waltzing with Elling is a tribute to American jazz singer Kurt Elling and jazz bass player Rob Amster. The waltz seeks to capture some of the characteristics of The Waking, a song for voice and double bass from the CD *Nightmoves * (2007), which sets a poem by American poet Theodore Roethke.
Waltzing with Elling is dedicated to Emily Bennett who admires Elling's jazz singing and the playing of the group -as do I and viola player, Dawn. The piece is written for Dawn Bennett who contributed valuable bowing/articulation advice.
The two-part writing and jazz idiom of 'The Wake', plus other Elling characteristics including his improvised vocal scatting style, have been drawn into the work. The violist is encouraged to adopt a jazz style and to elaborate on the written score. Waltzing also offers the viola player the opportunity to improvise if wished from ms. 37-73 (when this section is repeated). This is optional.
The piano part could be played by double bass, all pizzicato, with appropriate transpositions to fit within the instrument's range.