Category

sheet music sales

Christmas Gifts for String Music Lovers

By gifts for string music lovers, sheet music sales No Comments

With December 25th  only five days away here are my suggestions for Christmas gifts for string music lovers:
gifts 2

christmas gifts for string music lovers

Finally, if you’re searching for a present for a string player sometime next year we now have a gifts and dedications’ page where we custom write music. Find out more here:
https://www.fedorastrings.com/gifts-dedications/

Christmas Carols for String Duet

By sheet music sales No Comments

 Christmas Carols for String Duet

Yes, it’s December and the latest addition to our online shop is a Christmas carol for string duet – Variations on a Christmas Carol – and Christmas carols for string duetthere is  both a cello duet and a violin and cello duet version.

It’s not just a carol!
If you have already heard more than enough Christmas carols this year I sympathise and can reassure you that although this new work is based on Ding Dong Merrily on High that is just the starting point, and the music has three very different variations which are not at all carol-like in mood.

Variation Form
Some wonderful music has been written in variation form: Britten’s Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Arensky’s Varations on a theme of Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a theme of Paganini  are the first three that come to my mind. It is surprising how easy it is to totally vary the mood by changing the key, time signature, rhythm or texture. And sometimes you get miraculous melodies that are unforgettable, as below:

 

Intermediate and Advanced Violin and Cello Duet Albums

By intermediate and advanced violin and cello duets, sheet music sales No Comments

We are now selling four intermediate and advanced violin and cello duet albums of our best selling music divided into four categories. These are: Six Great Baroque Tunes, Six Great Romantic Tunes, Six Great Folk Songs and Six Great Broadway Songs. Each album contains six works – all complete with individual parts and score.
String duet albums

While it is true that music of different styles has different characteristics  – the different styles also have many things in common.

Why categories?

It seems to be a human need to categorise things. I once read a very funny short story by Garrison Keillor  about a journalist who obsessively wrote articles based on lists.  Our categories though are intended to offer good value. And the chance to explore some wonderful music at a bargain price.

Baroque Sheet Music Albums

By sheet music sales

Baroque Sheet Music Albums

We are now selling our most popular selections of violin and cello duets in themed albums at a bargain price. The first is a baroque sheet music  album and contains the scores and individual parts of six great works. All of the music would be ideal to be played at a wedding.

About the arrangements

The music included in this album is: Air on a G String, Pachelbel Canon, our award winning Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Chiome D’Oro, Charpentier’s Te Deum and Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary. This is an excellent way to get to know some wonderful repertoire from this most exciting of all periods of music.

Opera Arias arranged for Cello Duet

By intermediate and advanced cello duet sheet music, sheet music sales

The opera arias I have recently arranged for cello duet have been a pleasure to write: SJ Music
My starting point was to look at the number of instruments in a Puccini score – an awe inspiring experience. Did Puccini immediately hear the music like this in his head or add the orchestration later? According to a friend of mine – an expert orchestrator – it was probably the former.
opera arias arranged for cello duet                                            Puccini
Overall objective
My aim with the cello duets was to ensure the tune was always clear and then try to capture the overall mood in the accompanying part, often by using cellistic special effects. In my teens I spent ages listening to recordings of great singers – and I loved the beauty of their phrasing, their rubato and the drama of it all. It’s rare to hear string music as expressively phrased as singing often is, but isn’t it worth aspiring to?

What’s Wrong with Pachelbel Canon?

By sheet music sales

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.

Pachelbel’s Canon

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?
…  its major key and has a calm confidence that has probably helped to make it so well liked…

Four Famous Cello Duets

By sheet music sales

SJ Music has just published  Four Famous Opera Arias arranged for two cellos which I wrote last year and recorded in Edinburgh with Mark Bailey. You can buy these famous cello duets from music shops and online at SJ Music’s website: Four Famous Opera Arias for Cello Duet

You can also buy the music at Fedora Strings here: Cello Duets
four famous cello duets

Which opera arias are they?
The arias are  Toreador Song and Habanera from Carmen,  Your Tiny Hand is Frozen from La Boheme and Non Piu Andrai from The Marriage of Figaro . All are very different in mood and it is a delight to have a clear narrative to the music.

You can buy the cd too
The cd which accompanies the arrangements can be purchased from our website here: Cello Duet CD

About SJ Music
SJ Music is based in London and specialises in unusual string chamber music and cello repertoire. It sells cello duets and cello quartets and octets as well as fun melodies which focus on cello harmonics  and Christopher Bunting’s excellent technique books which I can thoroughly recommend. If you haven’t discovered this imaginative publishing company yet they are well worth exploring.

 

 

Expressive techniques for strings

By sheet music sales


One of the most effective expressive techniques for strings is using slides to go from one note to another. It is something we aim use frequently when performing the violin and cello duets we  have created and sell on our website.

Is there any string player in the world who has ever used this technique more inspiringly than Jascha Heifetz ? Just listen to the pure electricity in his inimitable performance of Deep River below:

Another example of superb use of slides
Great singers use this technique all the time : hear how beautifully Jonas Kauffman phrases the line in the Puccini aria below:

I play the piano, and while I love the way that this instrument – with its combined harmonies – is complete in itself, I really miss not being able to slide, do vibrato or crescendo on a note.
There is one work which we sell on our website which is all about slides: Lunchtime Blues – a slightly sleazy sounding piece Roger wrote after a lunchtime pint at his local pub. You could almost play this on one finger – and it would lose a great deal  of impact if fingered more cleanly.
My former cello teacher – Christopher Bunting – once played The Swan with an orange at a party- a continuous slide effect – though not particularly healthy for the fingerboard!

 

Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No 1

By sheet music sales

We have just added Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No 1 to our online sheet music shop. The standard of the music intermediate to advanced. Click here to go straight to our shop page:

Shop

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:

Brahms Hungarian Dance 1

Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate

By intermediate and advanced violin and cello duets, sheet music sales

Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate

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

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

 

Exsultate Jubilate

.