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Everything posted by AmandaM

  1. I know exactly which piece you mean, I even know what the sheet music looks like -- and like you I've been trying to find a copy. Sheila Nelson in London has it in her library, but I've never seen it anywhere else. However, she has published another excellent Farmer piece, Hope told a Flattering Tale, in her anthology The Romantic Violinist (Boosey & Hawkes). I've rescued a very old copy of Farmer's violin method book from a library trash pile once, and as I'm guessing the copyright years are over, if you'd be interested I could scan a couple of other "themes with variations" from there and send them to you. There is at least one on Twinkle, twinkle and one on The (Blue?) Bells of Scotland. They don't have piano accompaniments but for a decent pianist it would just be fun to make something up, wouldn't it?
  2. Telemann is here: Or, if the link doesn't work: I chose Telemann in the composer list at, then violin & piano. The Thomas Arne sonata (there is only one well-known sonata by him as far as I know) is probably a good idea for this list as well, isn't it? And if you find a violin arrangement of the Vaughan Williams set of folksongs (I usually play them on the viola but they're available for a wide range of instruments), they'd make a nice addition as well.
  3. Have you added the Elgar Six Easy Pieces? The piano part is not as easy as the violin part, but still I'd say they're within the "easy" range. Probably you could add a lot of Air Variés as well, like Dancla and de Bériot and others. Since they are always based on one set of harmonies, it's usually easy to get a grip (musically) and simplify the accompaniment a little if needed.
  4. I liked the book quite a lot! This reviewer doesn't seem to think that the film has captured the spirit of the book:
  5. Speaking of books, has anybody seen the film based on The Soloist? The one about a homeless musician in downtown L.A.?
  6. If the Dvorak Sonatine is within your "easy range", then there should be a lot ... Maybe not a lot ot romantic works, but quite a few not-very-well-known classical sonatas and some Baroque sonatas as well. I'd suggest these to start with: the Telemann Sonatinen a couple of the Handel Sonatas the Mozart Wiener Sonatinen (arranged by somebody) the Schubert Sonatinen a collection from EMB: Are you looking for original music, or are arrangements OK too?
  7. The Stepping Stones, Waggon Wheels etc books with music written by Katherine and Hugh Colledge have piano parts that are not exactly for beginners but that are quite easy. The Hauptmann Sonatinas have violin and piano parts that are roughly on the same level. And here's a method, Fiolmagasinet/Pianomagasinet, invented for beginning violinists and pianists studying together, meaning it would probably provide you with some repertoire ideas even if you can't read the text:
  8. This is my favourite (sorry, the info is not in English ...): You can adjust just about everything on it. It's heavy but very reliable. Now, if you could get all of that and then make it beautiful too ... :-)
  9. Some thoughts: 1. At this point you don't have to decide whether you'd like to do wedding gigs for the rest of your life or not. You can just try it out by taking it seriously and preparing well to give the whole idea a fair chance, can't you? 2. My guess, or hope, is that the people who tell you they don't practice for weddings did practice at one point, and now they practice other things and know the wedding pieces well enough to be able to just pick them up. So when you start, of course you can tell your fellow musicians that you want to have a couple of sessions where you sight-read different collections and then one where you rehearse the pieces that have been picked for this occasion. 3. I've heard a lot of praise of the Last Resort collections, and they come in a big variety of instrument combinations. If you're going to perform with a cellist, of course almost any Baroque violin piece will work fine -- he or she will just start out with the bass line which is usually enough to make it sound very nice. But maybe you could ask friends or teachers if you can borrow what they have for a sight-reading session, and if your library has something then borrow what you can there to. After reading through everything you can find, you can decide which collections or pieces or arrangements you need to own and then buy them. (If you're the one paying for all the scores that a group is using, maybe you can make a deal with the others about getting a larger part of the fee.) 4. Situations and people can vary a lot, but in order to prevent awkward moments like the one you described with the music director and misunderstandings with the couple or wedding planner, you can a. meet the couple or whoever gets to choose the pieces to give a live sample of your suggestions (a lot of people don't know what sounds good on a single violin, etc, and you probably have pieces that you really like to play but that are not very well-known) and to tell them what you can do to fulfill their wishes (ie you can arrange that very special favourite piece, but that will mean a couple of hours in front of the computer, which means they'll pay you more, or you can play that piece but it really needs a string quartet and are they ready to go for that ...) (-- and if you find you LOVE wedding gigs, after a while you'll probably make fancy repertoire lists and a sample hand-out CD or a website where people can listen to you) b. ask to be contacted by/get the phone number for whoever else is doing music stuff for their wedding, so that you can coordinate your efforts Good luck!
  10. I suppose you already know the so-called Stockholm Sonatas by Attilio Ariosti? I play them on the Baroque viola because I don't have a viola d'amore, and they mostly work fine. Free scores here:
  11. When you write "solo violin", do you mean unaccompanied violin? People seem to be answering different questions here. Most of the pieces in this thread would sound quite lonely without a piano accompaniment, but there are other pieces that are actually written for solo violin.
  12. When I played with the Georgetown University Orchestra, they put the percussion section sort of half behind the choir for Carmina Burana, and a choir singer fell backwards -- into the percussion section. Imagine the sound. As I remember it, it all happened so quickly that almost nobody in the orchestra actually understood what was going on, though.
  13. If you're just looking for nice sight-reading music (or for something to play in less concert-like settings), the big collection of instrumental parts from Taizé could be very useful. Each song has harmonies and at least one "composed" accompaniment or solo part for the guitar, often more, and then there are lots and lots of different parts for treble C instruments. The concept is like La Follia but less explosive. Many of the melodies are very, very beautiful. You can add on more instruments if you like, and play duos/trios/quartets/canons or take turns.
  14. It's here -- and it's part of a loooooooong list! :-)
  15. Here's a list of pieces for viola and guitar: Gitarre und Viola Kont, Paul. Ballade für Viola und Gitarre. Wien: Doblinger, c1988. Meijering, Chiel, 1954-. Nini: voor altviool en gitaar: 1986 / Chiel Meijering. Amsterdam: Donemus, c1986. Paganini, Nicolo. Sonata per la gran viola e chitarra / Nicolo Paganini; hrsg. Paul Bulatoff. Frankfurt: Zimmermann, 1985. Schmidt, Hartmut. Musik fur Saiteninstrumente und Gitarre / [H. Schmidt]. [s.l.: s.n., 1982?] Whettam, Graham. Serenade (1981) for viola (or clarinet) & guitar / Graham Whettam. Ingatestone, Essex, England: Meriden, 1984. Gitarre und Viola (arr.) Holewa, Hans, 1905-. Duettino nr. 3, (viola-guitar) / Hans Holewa. [stockholm: Stim, 1985]. Marais, Marin. Cinque antiche danze francesi / Marin Marais; realizzazione per viola e chitarra di Giovanni Antonioni e Carlo Carfagna. Ancona, Italy: Berben, 1979. Rust, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1739-1796. Sonata fur Viola und Gitarre / Friedrich Wilhelm Rust. Nach dem Autograph erstmalig herausgegeben von Wolfgang Sawodny. Munchen-Grafelfing: W. Wollenweber, c1981.
  16. You could also find one or two useful books in the Fiddle Time series from Oxford University Press.
  17. I haven't used that particular set of books, but here are some other ideas for pre-Twinkle: Katherine & Hugh Colledge have a set of "first recital" books (with piano accompaniments) at Oxford University Press: Stepping Stones, Waggon Wheels etc. The first ones could be very useful. Sheila M Nelson's Tetratunes (Boosey & Hawkes) are a minor classic here in Europe. You might also find some of her other books interesting. Edward Huws Jones's Ten O'Clock Rock (Boosey & Hakwes), Red Parrot, Green Parrot and maybe also the Egbert stories usually catch children's imagination. There should also be something by Mary Cohen at Faber, although right now I can't think of any specific titles.
  18. Tim, if and when you start making these arrangements, I'd be very interested in trying them out! Are you looking for published repertoire as well? In that case I can put some lists online here.
  19. Do you know about ASTA? Well, there is ESTA too -- European String Teachers Association. They have national branches in most countries, and through them you should be able to find a teacher.
  20. I own most of the books because I spent some years with two teachers (one Polish, one Czech) who used the same list that their own teachers had used with them -- but since lessons were always short (and maybe for other reasons too) neither of them spent much time getting anywhere beyond the first pages of each book. At college I studied with a professor who loved etudes but who would only let me play the 40 Variations from my pile of Sevcik. I started to like them a lot then -- to me they do have some musical content. (With a younger student who needs some more energy it's also very easy to make up characteristic and dynamic piano accompaniments for all of them!) A good teacher can always make up Sevcik-like mini-etudes for whatever is needed at the moment. I've had a lot of those, and they do make more sense to me because I can concentrate on the actual movement of whatever arms and hands and fingers instead of trying to read the cramped notation in one of the books ...
  21. AmandaM


    I really enjoyed reading Vikram Seth's An Equal Music, too. It was probably the first time that I actually "believed" in a piece of fiction about musicians -- all the books I'd read up to that point had had obvious attempts at displaying knowledge of musicians' inside stuff, only they failed so badly. Seth must have done some serious research! One cute thing about the Steve Lopez book is that the main character is actually a bass player. But he's homeless, and the only string instrument he can cover up in his cart during the night is a violin. So he plays the violin instead. There's big fuss when Lopez gets him his dream instrument, a cello which he obviously can't push around on the streets without anyone noticing ... Another music-related novel that I keep returning to every second year or so (I must have been 12 when I found it) is Cynthia Voigt's A Solitary Blue. The main character is a boy who starts playing the guitar. In the same series there's a novel about a ballet girl. Both of them are full of people who are really alive and insights that really matter -- at least to me.
  22. AmandaM


    For Christmas my brother gave me Practicing, and I've really enjoyed reading most of it. Even though it's about playing the guitar, a lot of what he says is very relevant for any musician, I think. From a friend I borrowed The Soloist, which I guess most American violinists have already read -- but I hadn't. Two recommendations from me -- any comments? Or other recommendations?
  23. Yes, the first thought that entered my head when I saw this topic line was The Inner Game of Music. When we worked with that book in college I found it very amusing that it was linked with The Inner Game of Golf. But maybe it makes sense?
  24. AmandaM

    Violin methods

    Among the classics, there's for example the Doflein method which has a lot of beautiful music in it an many duets straight from the start. Among the more recent ones, there's so much more than Essential Elements! Boosey & Hawkes publishes the Sheila Nelson books. They're excellent and very creative. Oxford University Press publishes the Fiddle Time series. Also very good, and with better illustrations and layout. Faber publishes the Superstart series by Mary Cohen. That's a method that is spreading quickly in Europe. Jus a few examples! And all these three have a lot of extra materials that you can add when you want to emphasize something or add more repertoire. Some pieces are the same in the viola and cello books, sometimes even in the bass books, so that you can use them as ensemble repertoire straight away.
  25. What Gowan says is quite interesting: at that time, it must have mattered a lot, in fact made all the difference, that Bruch (or whoever) was behind his time -- but now it shouldn't matter at all. I wonder how many composers are entirely forgotten now just because they were a little too late, or a little to early, or didn't have the right friends, and also how many of the "one hit wonder" (or, in this case, "three hit wonder") composers were in reality both good and productive but didn't manage to fit into their time or scene and so just a few pieces are "known" now. What do you think? I love playing the greatest hits, but even more I enjoy performing pieces that nobody ever heard or heard of. Music is actually even more interesting than we tend to think, isn't it?