Cello Duets Reviewed

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Cello Duets Reviewed

Some of the cello duet arrangements that we sell on our website have just been reviewed by the September 2019 edition of Music Teacher Magazine. The duets that have been reviewed are: Four Famous Opera Arias arranged for Two Cellos. They can be bought individually on our site, or all four can be purchased together at SJ Music – who publish the duets.
cello duets reveiwed

What is the review like?

The review is excellent. It covers all the duets – Toreador Song, Habanera, Your Tiny Hand is Frozen and Non Piu Andrai . Some of this  detail has been quoted on our website. The review’s summary is:

“arranged with creative flair and an excellent knowledge of the instrument…a very worthwhile addition to the cello duet repertoire”

But apart from the review…

These are amazing arias and a great chance for cellists to play wonderful operatic tunes instead of accompanying them in an orchestra. Browse our cello duet repertoire HERE!

Toreador Song Cello Duet

New Book for Song Cycle Published

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Roger Stimson’s children’s book ,  ‘Quest for the Golden Orchid’ , is now on sale as a straightforward  book and an audio book. Links are here: Quest here: Goodreads  and here:Google link It will also be represented at the London Book Fair on January 20th.

The Quest for the Golden Orchid is the book that Roger based his 15 Insect Songs on and these will soon be published by Spartan Press.

  The story features a bee called Hermia – and a variety of other insect characters- and their adventures in escaping dangers caused by pesticides.
music success

About the songs

The music is fun and imaginative in illustrating the different characteristics of the various insects. The number of solo voices or choruses vary per song and there is a violin and piano accompaniment.

” These songs are ideal for use in schools, ” said Roger. ” Each song works on its own with or without the book – or all the songs and the book can be combined to create a children’s musical.”
 music success

Find out more

 If you’d like to be kept in touch with up to date information about publication of the book and the songs please email Roger direct at roger.stimson@googlemail.com

 

Latest Cello and Piano Sheet Music

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The latest cello and piano sheet music we have for sale in our online shop is an arrangement of Lilliburlero . The cello part is around Grade 5 in standard – so considerably easier than our original violin and cello duet version.
But it still retains the liveliness and vitality of the original and works very effectively as a cello and piano duo.

About Lilliburlero

Lilliburlero became a popular folk tune in 1688 and some of the words have a political meaning. It was also used in The Beggars’ Opera which was written by John Gay in 1728. But there is absolutely no political meaning  to our arrangement –  it is simply a fun, happy tune!
Lilliburlero Cello Duet

Is it important to start string lessons with a good teacher?

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Is it important to start string lessons with a good teacher? Yes, for many reasons.  It will help you  enjoy playing and will make the process seem relaxed and fun. It will also help you avoid getting into bad technical habits  that can make playing much more difficult than it needs to be. And it should allow you to achieve what you, as an individual, would like to achieve on your instrument.

Making it easy and mixing with others

If you are an absolute beginner it’s sensible to start by having weekly lessons if possible so that you become comfortable with the easiest and most natural way of playing. If you’re an adult you’ll probably be motivated enough to cope with lessons on a more ad hoc basis after the first month, depending on how much time you have. And I  recommend finding other people to play chamber music with, or joining an amateur orchestra, as soon as you can. There are lots of enthusiastic amateur string players and playing with them is usually fun and supportive.

Is it important to start string lessons with a good teacher?

Basic scales and improvising

I am also a strong believer in encouraging improvisation from the start. This may be as basic as just playing open strings in your own rhythms. But it definitely enhances confidence and creativity and helps you feel at one with your instrument. Once you have learnt basic scales – which does not take long – playing simple tunes by ear is also an excellent idea and gives you a sense of freedom.

More information

Roger and I are both experienced teachers. If you’d like more information please  email us  at info@fedorastrings.com or ring 07964 232654

New Cello and Piano Sheet Music

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We now have four new cello and piano sheet music pieces for sale at our online shop. These are: Scarborough Fair, Morning Prelude, Christmas Variations and Highland Meeting. The standard of the music is between Grades 6 and 7 and each piece is three to four minutes long.

Our latest piece

Highland Meeting was composed last month and is inspired by folk music. There’s ongoing dialogue between cello and piano throughout and the title is deliberately evocative.

New Cello and Piano Sheet Music

Music with narrative

I love playing short pieces with imaginative titles. If you play the piano you may have come across  Bergmuller’s Easy and Progressive Piano Studies . Each short study is a little jewel, with a title that brings the music to life. Listen to the fun performance of La Chasse below and you’ll see what I mean:

More information

Moving back to cello and piano, please feel free to email us at info@fedorastrings.com if you’d like more details about any of the music that we sell.

 

Building a repertoire of violin and cello duets for weddings

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Building a repertoire of violin and cello duets for weddings

If you are forming a professional violin and cello duo which will play at weddings you may be struggling to find repertoire. Violin and cello duets are an unusual combination.

So… welcome to Fedora Strings!  Our website specialises in  violin and cello duet sheet music which is imaginative and effective.  Our two  wedding collection albums are likely to contain almost all the music you’ll need to start with. And the pdf format they are sold in can be printed not just once, but as many times as you want. This makes  them excellent value for money.

Not just for weddings!

While Wagner’s Bridal Chorus might be considered an unusual choice to play in a recital, most of our other music is not just for weddings but can be played anywhere! Almost all our arrangements and compositions are true chamber music. They have very equal parts and share the tunes between the instruments.  And at the moment we are offering five arrangements ( or compositions) for the price of four!

exsultate jubilate alleluia by mozart

 

 

Relax with our violin and cello duet sheet music!

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Relax with our violin and cello duet sheet music!

If you feel like trying some new duets we have plenty of sheet music in our shop which is not too demanding technically and is fun to play. Here are some relaxing, summer choices :

Tambourin
A lively, happy piece with straightforward parts for both instruments.

My Love is like a Red, Red, Rose
Who doesn’t enjoy this well known, romantic folk tune?

Over the Hills and Far Away
Another vibrant, happy piece with lots of open string double stopping that is easier than it sounds!

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
One of the most popular pieces ever written? Here’s the chance to try a duet version instead of playing it in an orchestra.

As for cello duets Non Piu Andrai is a bit harder than the violin and cello duets mentioned above, but aims to have a sense of humour! And here’s the cello duet version of My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.

More queries?

If you want to know more about the standard of our music just email us at info@fedorastrings

relax with our violin and cello duet sheet music!

 

What is Summer Music?

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What is summer music? Most people would probably think it’s music that’s calm, rural and relaxing. Delius’s Summer Evening ( below) is exactly that:

But for Vivaldi summer evoked different feelings. His ‘Summer’ in The Four Seasons is an early example of programmatic music. Vivaldi wrote his own sonnets in the score to explain what the music is describing. The first movement’s sonnet reads: ” Langour in the heat” . This is followed by:  ” …beneath the blazing sun’s relentless heat men and flocks are sweltering  and the cuckoo’s voice can be heard.”  

For Gershwin the season was even more complex. His aria Summertime  opens his opera Porgy and Bess which is set in a black tenement in South Carolina in the 1930s. The  themes of the opera are romance struggling against poverty, drug taking and violence. Our violin and cello duet version is below:

…and you can buy our violin and cello duet sheet music arrangement here

Cello and Piano Sheet Music

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This autumn we will be adding some cello and piano sheet music to our online shop. Some of the sheet music is a piano and cello reworking  of already existing pieces. These are Scarborough Fair, Christmas Variations and Morning Prelude. There will also be three new cello and piano sheet music compositions.

New Commissions

For more information email us at info@fedorastrings.com  And remember, you can commission us to arrange or compose a piece for you for any combination of strings.
cello and piano sheet music

 

How TV Themes Work

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This blog explores how tv themes work. Have you noticed how the best tv themes immediately take you into the world of the programme with no words needed? Ever wondered how they do that?  Here’s a very rough outline:
First – Hawaii 5 0.  The lively mood, off beat rhythms, energy, contemporary pop style, use of drums and minor key instantly evoke action, seriousness and America.

Compare this with Inspector Morse – a very different, definitely non American, detective:

This tune expresses darkness and sadness – ideally suited to the older, cultured and world weary  Inspector Morse!  The minor key, repeated rhythms and repeated descending bass line – in chaconne style – create a sense of inevitability. Vitali’s Chaconne  ( below)  with its famous repeated descending bass line, is in the same world  (but was written  300 years earlier.)

Changing the mood completely, the Pride and Prejudice theme projects lightness and happiness with its major key, scale patterns  and lively speed. The composer effectively captured the late classical /early romantic style of Jane Austen’s era .


Compare this with the Haydn Piano Concerto and John Field Nocturne  below. Both composers were contemporaries of Jane Austen.


Do we sell similar sheet music?

We don’t sell anything exactly like the above themes.  But all music creates its  effects in similar ways. The nearest we have to Hawaii 5 0 is Over the Hills and Far Away or Lilliburlero. Both are lively and energetic, but they don’t have the American feel and are not in a minor key. The closest we have to the Inspector Morse theme is probably Una Furtiva Lagrima or Scarborough Fair.There’s no repeated descending bass, but both are sad, beautiful minor tunes.For the classical style of Pride and Prejudice choose Exsultate Jubilate and Boccherini’s Minuet and Trio.

Finally, the Listen With Mother radio theme – from long, long,long  ago –  was simply Faure’s Berceuse – a  lullaby duet that was perfect for the programme.