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Thread: Mozart's footsteps

  1. #1
    Registered User vkioulaphides's Avatar
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    Default Mozart's footsteps

    Greetings, all.

    Many of you are surely familiar with Mozart's lovely "mixed" quartets, essentially four-part compositions for one "special" instrument (oboe or flute) plus string trio, i.e. violin, viola, and cello. In essence these are "instrumentation variants" of the string quartet texture and Mozart, with his inimitable touch of genius at every corner, makes magic with the opportunities afforded him by the featured, wind instrument.

    Much more humbly than that, I just finished my own Quartet for Mandolin and String Trio, commissioned by Israeli mandolinist Alon Sariel, who will premiere it at the Lunel Festival this coming July, joined by the Hamburg Trio. In this case, too, the mandolin-part is interwoven among the (bowed) strings, in a sort of "soloist-lite" role, yet still within the ensemble.

    The movements— I hope— are colorful in spirit and character, marked Allegro furioso, Lento recitando and Presto alla caccia respectively. In tipping my hat to the Master of Us All, I closed the final, "hunt"-movement with a stereotypical "Mozart Hallelujah", which in this case did not seem inappropriate. But only the audience can judge the effectiveness of a composer's intentions...

    The score will remain in Alon's hands exclusively, at least until the premiere. After that, ye touring mandolinists have at it! None of the parts are terribly difficult to play, and the piece altogether is intended for performing artists who are well versed in the harsh reality of too few rehearsals, too many concert-dates. It should take no more than a couple of quick, short sessions to put together.

    Cheers to the artful Maestro Sariel, and to mixed quartets in general.

    Victor
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  2. #2
    Jim Garber Fan Bill Clements's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Congratulations on your commission, and I hope it is well received by by your audiences and those fortunate enough to hear it!
    Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent ~ Victor Hugo

  3. #3
    Registered User vkioulaphides's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Thanks, Bill!

    While I cannot of course speak for Alon and his companions of Hamburg, many of those performances at the Lunel Festival have eventually appeared on YouTube. So even those of us who are not half as fortunate as to be basking in the sun of la France may get to taste a morsel of all that music-making, at least via cyberspace.

    Alon, by the way, is a very, VERY fine young musician! So I will trust that his playing of my work will leave the audiences with the best possible impression I could ever hope for.

    -------------

    Incidentally... years ago, at a composers' conference, a colleague approached me with a facial expression half way between a smile and a smirk; with a tone of voice that was equally an admixture of admiration and envy, he asked me, "How come you get all those great performances?" To which, of course, I replied in perfect candor, child-like innocence: "Oh, I write for great performers." He reacted as if annoyed at my imputed arrogance— yet I had not meant the comeback to sound catty, not meant that at all! I had simply told him the truth, plain, unadorned, factual.

    Only a couple of days ago, German virtuosa Gertrud Weyhofen wrote me a quick email to give me her "second impression" of a set of variations I wrote for her, on a traditional melody, for unaccompanied mandolin. She wrote to say that the more she plays the piece, the more she likes it. Now... you don't need to be a prophet to foresee that she will surely play the piece as if it came down The Way of the Angels. And that's what composers live for.

    Cheers,

    Victor
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  4. #4
    Weirdo a pizzico Eugene's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Cool, on all counts.

  5. #5
    Registered User vkioulaphides's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Thank you, Eugene!

    Post-premiere, the quartet will go into free circulation, like all other works of mine. In the meanwhile, you may want to scare up some (bowed) string-players ;-)

    Cheers,

    Victor

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    In training... KristinEliza's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Bowed string players I have a plenty!
    KristinEliza

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    Registered User vkioulaphides's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    That being the case, dear Maestra, please consider yourself included in the "hit-list", once this score goes into circulation ;-) Said parts are not terribly difficult, so I hope the baby walks, and walks, and walks...

    Cheers,

    Victor

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    Registered User Ken_P's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Very exciting - thank you not only for writing this music, but being so generous as to share it freely! I eagerly away the opportunity to dig into the score myself.

  9. #9
    Registered User vkioulaphides's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Certainly! I am not sure about the date off hand, but believe that the premiere in Lunel is slated for July 7. After that, I will "revive" this thread, and send scores and parts (gratis, of course) to all those who will have expressed some interest in having them. So you, too, will be among the recipients. I hope you all enjoy my Mozartean musings...

    Cheers,

    Victor

  10. #10
    Registered User Alex Timmerman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Sounds great, Victor, as always!

    Best, Alex.

  11. #11
    Registered User vkioulaphides's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Thanks, Alex!

    In fact, I can think of one *particular* Dutch mandolinist who may put this score to good use ;-)

    But all that is for the future-- and the future, as I always like to say, lies ahead of us :-)

    Cheers,

    Victor

  12. #12
    In training... KristinEliza's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Quote Originally Posted by vkioulaphides View Post
    Certainly! I am not sure about the date off hand, but believe that the premiere in Lunel is slated for July 7. After that, I will "revive" this thread, and send scores and parts (gratis, of course) to all those who will have expressed some interest in having them. So you, too, will be among the recipients. I hope you all enjoy my Mozartean musings...

    Cheers,

    Victor
    Can't wait!
    KristinEliza

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  13. #13
    Registered User vkioulaphides's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    OK, the parts are ready-- more Haydnesque than Mozartean, on second thought: monothematicism and all that, a shorter breath and a swifter kick-in-the-pants, thus much more akin to the older master.

    Ye eventual recipients will know it when you see it ;-)

    Cheers,

    Victor

  14. #14
    Registered User Ken_P's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Quote Originally Posted by vkioulaphides View Post
    OK, the parts are ready-- more Haydnesque than Mozartean, on second thought: monothematicism and all that, a shorter breath and a swifter kick-in-the-pants, thus much more akin to the older master.
    Now I'm even more interested! I always preferred Haydn to Mozart

  15. #15
    Registered User billkilpatrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    congratulations victor - sorry to be so late in offering it - will you be at the premiere?

  16. #16
    Registered User vkioulaphides's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    I'm afraid not, Bill. I'll be instead en route to Athens, with Better Halves in tow, that very day. In spirit, yes, I *will* attend ;-)

    Cheers,

    Victor

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    Weirdo a pizzico Eugene's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_P View Post
    Now I'm even more interested! I always preferred Haydn to Mozart
    [Dare I admit it...] Me too. ...or even Boccherini, C.P.E. Bach, G.B. Sammartini, etc.

  18. #18
    Registered User vkioulaphides's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    No accounting for taste, of course.

    What has always fascinated me (and, of course, all music-lovers, by and large) in Haydn is his own fascination with the medium, whatever instrumental medium he was writing for at the time. As you listen to, say, one of his string quartets, and there comes all of a sudden some nifty instrumental figuration, partly with cross-string bowings, partly with syncopated slurs on the same string, you can immediately imagine him musing, "Hey, isn't that a nifty bit of finger-work?" And you can "see" his smile. It is for this reason that, IMHO, Haydn is the Supreme Instrumental Composer, bar none, hands down.

    I claim no parity, needless to say. I simply and openly admit a (rather obvious, anyhow) similarity in our approach. I trust that everyone on this forum who has ever played through, or even looked through one or more of my works for the mandolin must have surely sensed my own fascination with the instrument, the way it sounds, the way it works. So that musing —the Germans have truly wonderful words for this, Musizieren, Musikantentum, et al.— on both the sonority and the "mechanical" workings of the mandolin informs all my works for it, and of course this latest Quartet.

    When the piece comes out in the open, so to speak, I hope listeners enjoy hearing it as much as I enjoyed writing it. That's my highest hope for this, and for all my works.

    Cheers,

    Victor
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  19. #19
    Registered User vkioulaphides's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    OK, baby just delivered ;-) Let's see how the first attempts at walking go, in due time...

    Cheers,

    Victor

  20. #20
    Registered User vkioulaphides's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mozart's footsteps

    Ha, ha... It appears that my unmeasured excitement got in the way of the plain facts. In fact, Alon is performing at the festivals in Castellar and Menton; his partners hail from Hannover. Apologies... Entirely too much excitement, apparently ;-)

    All this, while also teaching in Cambridge and San Diego! A busy, globe-trotting mandolinist...

    Cheers to Alon, and to all.

    Victor

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