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string duo Archives - Fedora Strings Sheet Music for Sale

Our latest famous string duet arrangement – Una Furtiva Lagrima

By | sheet music sales

Our sheet music string duo arrangement of Una Furtiva Lagrima ( A Furtive Tear) is now available. This hauntingly beautiful tune is the most famous aria from Donizetti’s opera L’Elisir D’Amore  ( The Love Potion) and it seems incongrous that it comes from a comic opera as it  completely transcends its context.
The plot of the opera
L’Elisir D’Amore tells the story of a village boy called Nemorino who falls in love with  Adina. To win her affection he buys a ‘love potion’ from a visiting quack doctor – not realising that it only contains wine.
About our arrangement
In our arrangement the cello has the tune for a great deal of the time – reflecting the fact that it is a tenor aria. You can buy our duet of the aria here:

New Violin and Cello Duet Sheet Music – The Lark in the Clear Air

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Our latest sheet music arrangement is one of my favourite folk songs – The Lark in the Clear Air – and this warm-hearted, tender tune is ideal for wedding ceremonies.

The beauty of string sound…
Anyone who has heard The Lark Ascending by Vaughan William will know that the violin is excellent at evoking bird flight, and we have exploited this in the arrangement, which is calm and gentle and shares the tune between both instruments.


the words of the song…
Dear thoughts are in my mind
And my soul soars enchanted
As I hear the sweet lark sing
In the clear air of the day
For a tender beaming smile
To my hope has been granted
And tomorrow she shall hear
All my fond heart would say

…and the beauty of the Irish countryside
For me it’s no surprise that this music originates in Ireland, and when you hear this song it’s easy to imagine walking in the Irish countryside thinking only good things…

String ensemble events in Northamptonshire: Shoe Heaven at Northampton Museum

By | buy music, fedora strings, fedora strings performance, sheet music, tour dates | 10 Comments

Last Friday night our Fedora Strings’  duo played for the Shoe Heaven event at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. Northampton has the largest collection of shoes in the world and the examples on display ranged from the exquisite and historically fascinating (Nijinsky’s ballet shoes and Roman sandals looking as modern as anything you’d find in a shop today) to the macabre ( tiny shoes for Chinese women with bound feet which must have meant the wearer’s movement was cruelly limited.)


We’d been given a free choice of music to perform and Roger had arranged Elvis Presley’s Blue Suede Shoes for the occasion. We also chose appropriate lighter music such as Puttin’ on the Ritz, Let’s Face the Music and Dance and I Could Have Danced All Night which we followed with several Beatles’ numbers. We divided the playing into three sections: Light, Folk and Classical. Everything was our own sheet music arrangements for string duo and most of the pieces we can also play as wedding quartet music.

shoes 2

Some of the more bizarre shoe designs  were shaped so weirdly that it made me question the significance of shoes in general, apart from basic foot protection. While I certainly think it’s good if shoes are imaginative and attractive, they clearly mean more to women than they do to men. I once heard someone say that you can tell what a woman thinks about herself by observing the kind of shoes she wears. I doubt that that’s entirely true, but I bet no one would even suggest it about a man.

String Sheet Music Arrangements of Folk Songs for 2013

By | buy music, fedora strings, fedora strings performance, planning your wedding, sheet music, tour dates | 6 Comments

Next year one of our priorities will be recording our second string duo cd. We’ve decided it will consist of our own violin and cello  sheet music arrangements of well known folk tunes. One reason for this is that we love so much of the folk repertoire and feel there is plenty of scope to develop classically-based   versions  of  these well known songs. We also feel that this area of repertoire will give us plenty of opportunity to continue to expand the different effects you can achieve on the violin and cello.

We haven’t completely agreed the programme for the cd yet – or indeed arranged it all – but we’ll definitely be including Lilliburlero, Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair,The Dark Island, Lark in the Clear Air and Sir Roger de Coverley.

There are so many different ways of playing  folk music. My favourite recordings  include the interpretations of Russian folk songs by the great bass singer Chaliapin, violin versions of folk music by Heifetz  and the string orchestra arrangement of Molly on the Shore.  We’ll be aiming  to achieve as much diversity of possible and all the music will be suitable for wedding receptions and some of it ideal for wedding ceremonies as well.

Painting of Fydor Chaliapin




Wedding receptions and ceremonies in Peterborough and Northamptonshire: Peterborough Town Hall

By | fedora strings, fedora strings performance, planning your wedding, tour dates | 6 Comments

Yesterday our string duo played  for a wedding at Peterborough Town Hall: a 1930s building which has  an art deco feel and an impressive marble staircase and pillars. The ceremony took place in one of the upstairs rooms and we were asked to  start perfoming one hour before it began, which was when the guests started to arrive.We set up at the top of the stairs initially, moving into the wedding room itself half an hour later, and the acoustics in both settings were beautifully resonant.

The choice of programme  was classical and folk, and we included Air on a G String, Fairest Isle, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Pachelbel’s Canon and Gigue, Flower Duet, Clarke’s Prince of Denmark’s March, Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Londonderry Air and My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose. The bride selected Gabriel’s Oboe as her entrance music, This Is The Day, Chanson de Matin and The Lark In The Clear Air to be played during the signing and the aria One Fine Day from Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly as exit music. The guests listened to our playing  intently  throughout, which was lovely for us.

Wedding ceremonies and receptions in Northampton and Rutland: Normanton Park Hotel

By | fedora strings, fedora strings performance, planning your wedding, tour dates | 3 Comments

Yesterday our string duo played wedding music at Normanton Church and Normanton Park Hotel in Rutland.  Both venues are  next to Rutland Water and the setting is extremely pretty. The ceremony took place at the church and we were asked to perform baroque and classical   pieces while the guests arrived; then Wagner’s Bridal Chorus for the bride’s entrance, This is The Day and My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose for the signing and All You Need Is Love for the exit;  we followed this with The Seeds of Love –  a traditional folk tune – to ensure that the music continued until all the guests had left.













The wedding then moved to the nearby Normanton Park Hotel and we had a break while the guests had drinks and the photos took place, and then played for two hours during the wedding breakfast. The bride and groom had asked if we could perform  pieces they especially liked on our playlist and these included our own arrangements of Yesterday, Imagine, Money Can’t Buy  Me Love, P.S. I Love You, Songbird, Close To You, Pachelbel’s Canon,  Air on a G String and  Moon River.  We had rehearsed the pop music quite a lot and listened to different You Tube performances to help decide on our own perception of the character of each song.











Overall the wedding was a very relaxed family occasion and we enjoyed having the opportunity to help make the occasion especially memorable.

Alexander Technique and Performance

By | fedora strings, fedora strings performance, string teaching | No Comments

Last year I had some problems with repetitive strain injury and to help resolve this I took lessons in Alexander Technique. Although it’s not an instant solution I found the lessons extremely helpful, and they have definitely improved my playing and given me a greater feeling of security and trust than I ever had before. One of the things that especially appeals to me is that the technique is not just about learning to be as effectively co-ordinated as possible, but  also about how your personality and feelings affect the way you move.The duo parts that we play so often at weddings and concerts with Fedora Strings are quite demanding technically, and have lots of beautiful cello tunes, so there are plenty of opportunities to test new approaches out under pressure.











To see perfect co-ordination in practice you only have to watch Heifetz,Rubinstein or Piatagorsky playing their respective instruments on You Tube, or, even easier, observe your cat or dog. Ideal co-ordination is rare for humans but  the norm for animals. There are so many ways in which we as a species, despite our many admirable qualities, have got things wrong.


Wedding receptions and ceremonies in Northamptonshire: A Persian wedding

By | fedora strings, fedora strings performance, planning your wedding, tour dates | 6 Comments

Yesterday Fedora Duo played for a wedding in Northamptonshire where the reception was in the bride and groom’s home. We’d given a concert here before, at a birthday party last February, so it was especially enjoyable for us to meet this couple and their friends again and be part of such an important and happy occasion in their lives.

We played two Iranian pieces at the start of the reception. We’d prepared these especially for this event  and liked the music so much that we decided to include it in our normal repertoire. There was a Persian wedding ceremony after the traditional church one, and while this took place we moved to the huge and luxuriously furnished marquee in the garden and then played for two hours while the guests chatted and had drinks and canapés before the main meal.

I’d been working as a music examiner in Northern Ireland the previous week and had borrowed a cello so that I could play in the evenings and stay in practice. Roger had arranged Rimsky Korsakov’s Hindu Song , which we performed for the first time, and the whole occasion was lovely and very friendly.


Fedora Strings' Concert at Wadenhoe Church in Northamptonshire

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Last week Roger and I gave a recital at Wadenhoe Church, near Oundle.We chose and introduced a programme of our own arrangements of duo music ranging from Mozart and Boccherini to Cole Porter and Gershwin, and included John Rutter’s royal wedding commission This Is The Day as we’d been asked to play something connected to the Diamond Jubilee. Giving a recital is quite different from performing at a wedding and we enjoyed the experience .Members of the congregation had very kindly organised food and sparkling wine afterwards so we could relax and chat with everyone, and Wadenhoe Church is a joy to play in. I think it’s my favourite church in the world.