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boccherini violincello duet sheet music Archives - Fedora Strings Sheet Music for Sale

What’s Wrong with Pachelbel Canon?

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Pachelbel Canon must be the easiest orchestral piece in the world for cellists to memorise – with its 28 repetitions of the 8 note bass line. Despite the numerous cellist jokes about this work (see below) I have always enjoyed playing it. It’s fairly short, the harmonies are beautiful and if you respond to what the other players are doing it becomes more fun.

So what is a canon?
For me canons, passacaglias and chaconnes are extremely effective musical forms where the repeated harmonies create a tautness and sense of inevitability that can be inspiring. Some of my favourite music in this form is: Purcell’s Chaconne in G minor, Vitali’s Chaconne,  Britten’s Passacaglia from Peter Grimes and Bach’s Chaconne in D minor, played superbly  below by Heifetz:
https://youtu.be/EbX3frq3Qyo

And why is Pachelbel’s so popular?
Pachelbel’s Canon major key and has a calm confidence that has probably helped to make it so well liked…

Why Slides are Brilliant!

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Why slides are great
One of the joys of playing a string instrument is being able to slide. Is there any string player who has ever used this technique more excitingly and expressively than Jascha Heifetz? Just listen to the pure electricity in his inimitable performance of Deep River:

 

Another example of superb use of slides
Great singers use slides all the time to help phrase the line, and Jonas Kauffman’s singing below is a wonderful illustration of this:

 

 

Buy Brahms Violin and Cello Duet Sheet Music Here!

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We have just added Brahms’s Hungarian Dance no 1 in G minor to our online violin and cello duet wedding sheet music shop. Click here to go straight to our shop page:

http://www.fedorastrings.com/product-category/sheet-music-sales/

About the Hungarian Dances
This is the first of a set of 21 Hungarian dances for various instrumental combinations which became the most profitable compositions Brahms wrote. This dance is ideal for wedding receptions and has luscious string tunes and lots of forward moving vitality, as you can hear in the orchestral version below:

Britten’s Greatest Work?

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Returning to the theme of superb string performances and repertoire –  some of Benjamin Britten’s most moving music has been written for string orchestra.  Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge is one of Britten’s greatest masterpieces.

More about the music
This work was composed when Britten was only 24, and it was inspired by his teacher Frank Bridge. The idea was that each of the variations would reflect a different side of Bridge’s personality. However, the writing transcends this formula and reveals Britten’s most vulnerable feelings. Even the apparently lighter variations – one of which is beautifully played below by the European Camerata – have such sensitivity they touch the heart:

Other music for strings
Britten writes superbly well for strings and knows how to exploit their strongest characteristics. His use of pizzicato, in both Simple Symphony (a lighter string orchestral work) and the Frank Bridge Variations often demands virtuosity – as can be seen in this performance by the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra:

https://youtu.be/LU4fexkx2D8

 

 

Buy the happiest music in the world here!

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We have just published our violin and cello duet arrangement of Alleluia from Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate. Is this the happiest music in the world? Maybe!  Mozart wrote it when he was only 17. Here’s the original orchestration:

https://youtu.be/XkjjnlrWifU

This would be ideal for any wedding ceremony or reception. Click below to buy the music:

http://www.fedorastrings.com/product-category/sheet-music-sales/

 

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Our new arrangement of Tambourin by the revolutionary Gossec

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The latest string duet arrangement we are selling is Tambourin by Francois Joseph Gossec. Gossec was born in 1734 and became the favourite composer of Revolutionary France. Today he is most famous for Tambourin – a delightful piece which lifts the spirit, as you can hear in this vibrant flute and harp arrangement:

Our arrangement is fun to play
Tambourin  works brilliantly for violin and cello duet – you can buy the music by clicking here:
http://www.fedorastrings.com/product-category/sheet-music-sales/

The link to the French Revolution
Who would ever guess that such a relaxed tune was written during the French Revolution or that Gossec’s compositions were loved by Robespierre?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our new string duet arrangement of Bach’s most famous work

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We have just published our violin and cello duet arrangement of Air on a G String – perhaps Bach’s most famous work.
Creating this arrangement
This piece has been a challenge to arrange for string duet. Roger and I both tried writing versions but neither felt quite right, so we abandoned the idea. However, the problems somehow resolved themselves and Roger created the arrangement we are selling now which is beautifully balanced and calm. Click here to buy it on our Music Sales’ page…

http://www.fedorastrings.com/product-category/sheet-music-sales/

…the original orchestral version is  below:

 

Playing string orchestra music by heart

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The link below shows a marvellous performance of the waltz movement of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings by a chamber ensemble called A Far Cry.

https://youtu.be/aPHn1DMa2xc

This performance brings the dance character to life wonderfully well  and the group are playing by heart, which can give  an added sense of freedom as long as you are experienced enough to feel confident.  A Far Cry clearly is, and the results speak for themselves.

Be Inspired Here!

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Great string performances
Spring is an inspirational season, and what better time to start an ongoing series about superb performances of great string music?

Why string orchestra is special
The first I’ve chosen is Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings – a work I fell in love with years ago and have often played in string orchestra, though without a conductor. Here it is, performed most beautifully by the Royal Northern College’s String Ensemble:

Much as I love string music of all kinds I have always felt nothing is quite as special as string orchestra sound at its best – which it is here.

 

 

 

 

Enhance your vibrations!

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I’ve just spent an interesting ‘cellistic’ afternoon with cellist Robert Brooke and American geophysicist Debby Miles.

A new cello invention
Debby has invented a ‘cello stone’ spike holder, made of travertine, which aims to eliminate  wolf notes on cellos and enhance and clarify tone quality by absorbing unwanted vibrations and allowing your instrument to sing more freely. As a non-scientific person it’s hard for me to understand how the process works – but it involves measuring the vibrations of your cello’s wolf note and finding the optimum proportion for your spike – no matter what height you have it at.
Does it work?
I definitely noticed an improvement in tone when using the ‘cello stone’ and my cello felt more open, free and clear. The wolf note was also considerably diminished, almost eliminated. After an afternoon spent experimenting I have now borrowed the ‘cello stone’ to try it more thoroughly.To find out more visit Debby’s website http://www.cellostone.com/  or contact  Robert Brooke – who is selling the stones from Cambridgeshire – on 07946 532263.