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violin and cello duet sheet music

Jerome Kern Violin and Cello Duets

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

We’re in the process of editing Jerome Kern violin and cello duets to sell in our online shop. The standard of the violin and cello duets is intermediate to advanced.The music will be added in around four weeks’ time. Jerome Kern’s music is now out of copyright and we can sell our versions of some of his most popular songs . These include Pick Yourself Up, Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man, I Won’t Dance, Long Ago and Far Away and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. We’ve recorded all of these on our cd Moonlight and Music and they include ricochet bowing, col legno, slides and soaring melodies – many in the cello part.

Jerome Kern violin and cello duets

What was Jerome Kern like?

Jerome Kern was a small, enthusiastic man with a tremendous amount of nervous energy. He studied classical composition in Europe and America and had a more thorough technical and artistic background than many of his colleagues .
Despite being one of America’s best known composers of light music he was impressively modest. He once told an admirer: “The fact that the theatre going public likes my music is no credit to me. There are many other composers who write better music that the public doesn’t like.”

Romance and lyricism

Jerome Kern’s natural feel for lyricism and his ability to express romantic sentiments made his songs instantly popular. Their lyrics are easy to empathise with.You can buy our versions of his songs below:
Broadway violin and cello duets

The best sheet music arrangements

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The best sheet music arrangements
How do you create the best sheet music arrangements and can they ever be better than the original instrumentation? The answer is undoubtedly yes. Jascha Heifetz’s violin versions of Deep River and White Christmas and Phillip McCann’s cornet playing in Count Your Blessings and Softly Awakes My Heart are just two performers whose interpretations are so expressive that the words of original songs are superfluous.
the best sheet music arrangements

Changing the instrumentation
Borodin’s Polovstian Dances sounds better in an orchestral version than with the original chorus, Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise works beautifully on the cello and Shostakovich’s String Quartet No 8 and Britten’s Simple Symphony both sound as good in their string orchestral versions as they do in their original quartet format, and were arranged by their respective composers.

Interpretation and imagination are almost as important
However good the arrangement, it needs vibrant interpretation to realise its potential – which composers seemed to cherish in the baroque era. Here’s what Robert Donington has to say in his book  A Performer’s Guide to Baroque Music: “ The baroque ideal was to depend on the individuality of the performer to fill out the implications of a sketchily notated text. Whoever took on the performance, whether he were the composer or not, took on responsibility not only for virtually the whole of the expression, but even for many of the notes.”

Most modern classical players would feel a little daunted by this, but  it certainly encourages a healthy sense of  imaginative freedom.

Violin and Cello Duet Arrangements

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How important is it to stick to authenticity when creating  violin and cello duet arrangements – or indeed adapting a book for film or theatre? If you change too much you can lose the whole point of the music. However, if you are altering a piece dramatically anyway – say arranging an operatic work for violin and cello duet – trying to aim for complete accuracy doesn’t always work. In many ways you need to accept that the medium is so different the whole thing needs to be re-imagined to come to life. Simply copying and necessarily leaving a lot out can result in  a lack of vitality.
Violin and cello duet arrangements

Red Priest create hugely imaginative Baroque arrangements





Copying alone doesn’t work
Adding new ideas true to the spirit and character of a work can hugely increase the energy and excitement of performance. How far you should go with this is a matter of individual taste, but not morally wrong. Shakespeare’s plays will never be diminished no matter how many varied interpretations they are given; and Bach will never be a lesser composer no matter how many styles his music is played in. Performance and interpretation are about re-creating music, not just copying notes – and this also makes the process a lot more fun.
Mel Gibson and Glenn Close’s oedipal interpretation of Hamlet

Flower Duet Sheet Music

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We’ve just added Flower Duet sheet music to our online shop.

The story of the opera
The music comes from Delibes’ opera Lakme, which is set in nineteenth century British India and concerns a tragic love affair. Lakme is the daughter of a fanatical priest and she and Gerald – an Englishman –   fall in love; but the pressures of their different cultures become too much for them and at the end of the opera Lakme dies.


The words of the Flower Duet
The flower duet appears near the beginning of the opera and is very romantic in mood, expressing none of the darkness that is to come.  It’s sung by Lakme and her maid as they prepare to bathe in the river, and the words are about their beautiful  surroundings – white jasmine, roses and birds singing…
Flower Duet from ‘Lakme’ by Delibes


They Can’t Take That Away From Me

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We’ve just added our duet arrangement of Gershwin’s song They Can’t Take That Away From Me to our online shop. It comes from the musical Shall We Dance, which was made into a film with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in 1937.

Here are the words
 ” The way you wear your hat, the way you sip your tea, the memory of all that, No, no they can’t take that away from me”   You can choose whether to interpret this sadly or in a more upbeat way, but being about memory it has a  sense of nostalgia.
They Can’t Take That Away From Me





Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard in Brief Encounter

Broadway music
You can purchase the music from our online shop by clicking the link below:


Bess, You Is My Woman Now

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We’re just finishing editing our violin and cello duet of Gershwin’s beautiful love song  Bess, You Is My Woman Now. Like Summertime this song comes from Gershwin’s only opera Porgy and Bess. When it was first performed in 1934 the work caused  controversy as the dark plot – featuring violence, prostitution, drugs and poverty – was  thought by some to be an unfair characterisation of the black community. Nevertheless the opera contains some of Gershwin’s finest work and is full of character and feeling.

Bess, You Is My Woman Now


Lunchtime Blues Sheet Music

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Our website is now focusing on violin and cello duet sheet music and cd sales and to launch our new look we’ve added Roger’s  Lunchtime Blues  sheet music to our music shop.  This fab short piece is very laid back and almost sleazy sounding. As long as you are comfortable sliding around on the cello it lies under the hand well.  It’s the sort of music you could almost play with one finger – almost.Lunchtime Blues Sheet Music

How did Lunchtime Blues come about?
So what inspired this composition? Roger writes: “It was a hot summer’s day. An old school friend, an artist and I had been walking around Peterborough looking at second hand books, drinking coffee and discussing philosophy. We somehow ended up in the garden of a pub by the river. An intelligent young lady was serving, her blonde hair reflecting the sunlight, her expression sultry.  No words passed between us and nothing followed from this silent encounter except the piece – Lunchtime Blues.”

pub pic

Recording at Wadenhoe Church

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Last week Roger and I completed some new recording at Wadenhoe Church. We’ll be selling the sheet music arrangements of the music we recorded on our website as soon as we have time to edit them thoroughly. To buy our first cd click below:

About Wadenhoe
We  have very generously been allowed  to use Wadenhoe Church in Northamptonshire again for our recording session and it’s a venue we’ve come to love: the surrounding scenery is beautiful and the acoustic  excellent, but more than this, the church  has a feeling of rightness, balance  and harmony. In this way it reminds me of Bach’s music, and always helps me feel calm and regain  perspective – no bad thing when you’re about to embark on the stress of a recording session.
Wadenhoe Church
About the music
In the morning we recorded six tracks of folk music: Londonderry Air, Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair, Over the Hills and Far Away, Lilliburlero, My Love is Like a Red Red Rose and Dance to Your Daddy. In the afternoon we continued with four pop tracks: Eleanor Rigby, All You Need Is Love, One Day Like This and Songbird. Most of us know the names of the composers of the pop songs, but who wrote these beautiful traditional folk tunes ? Folk music is street music , but can these really be the product of ‘committee’ composing? Who knows?


Folk Music for Violin and Cello Duet

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The snowy weather in Peterborough has meant lots of work has been cancelled  so we’ve used the time to focus on more folk music for violin and cello duet  for our forthcoming recordings this Easter. I’ve just completed a sheet music version of Lilliburlero which I’ve put in ternary form, with an invented Scottish minor section, and Roger’s done a very imaginative adaption of Over the Hills and Far Away. My own next two will be The Dark Island – a lovely, romantic, lilting  tune.
Folk Music for violin and cello duet


It was fascinating to hear Martin Carthy talking about folk music on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs last week, and his selection of  recordings was wonderful, especially the singing of  Edith Piaf and Maria Callas. Watching him on You Tube gives real insight into the world of folk music. There’s no point simply trying to emulate this, as our instruments and approach are different, but it’s always good to hear others singing and playing in a completely committed way and with true authenticity.

Violin and Cello Folk Duets

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Next week we start rehearsing violin and cello folk duets for our forthcoming series of Fedora Strings’ engagements and recordings.  It’s surprising how lost you can feel by missing  a few days of practice, although it never takes that long to be back to performance standard again.

Folk music  like Sir Roger de Coverley, Lilliburlero and Loch Lomond  dates back hundreds of years and no one is sure who originally composed the music, which makes you wonder what makes a song last for centuries.
Violin and Cello Folk DuetsLoch Lomond

One of the things I love about the arts is that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what combination of factors does make something musical, intuitive, memorable and emotional. I  just feel lucky that there is so much wonderful music around and that we have so many opportunities to play it.