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Violins

Tara Fitzgerald and Giles Terera explore the art of the violin through the words of Yeats, Amy Lowell and Whitman, with recordings of great violinists like Heifetz and Menuhin.

Producer: Elizabeth Arno

1 hour, 14 minutes

Last on

Fri 4 Jan 2019 16:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:00

    WESTHOFF

    Sonata for violin and continuo no.3, Imitazione delle campane

    Performer: Daniel Hope (violin), Jonathan Cohen (continuo).
    • DG 4779165.
    • Tr12.
  • CONKLING

    Summertime (extract – VI), read by Tara Fitzgerald

  • WALT WHITMAN

    The Tongues of Violins, read by Giles Terera

  • 00:02

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Sarabanda (Partita No.2 in D minor, BWV.1004)

    Performer: Alina Ibragimova (violin).
    • HYPERION CDA67691/2.
    • CD2 Tr3.
  • GARRISON

    Bach in the DC Subway, read by Tara Fitzgerald

  • 00:06

    GRAINGER

    Free Music No.1 (for four theremins)

    Performer: Lydia Kavina (theremin).
    • MODE 199.
    • Tr9.
  • SAMUEL WARD

    Stradivarius, read by Giles Terera

  • 00:08

    John Taverner

    In nomine (Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas)

    Performer: Fretwork.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI HMU807554.
    • Tr3.
  • 00:10

    Trad.

    Taksim (Lira) Improvisation

    Performer: Hersperion XXI, Jordi Savall (director).
    • ALIA VOX AVSA9870.
    • Tr10.
  • HOWARD SCHWARZ

    Elijah’s Violin (from Elijah’s Violin and Other Jewish Fairy Tales), read by Tara Fitzgerald

  • 00:12

    Johan Svendsen

    Romance in G major, Op.26 (extract)

    Performer: Arthur Grumiaux (violin), New Philharmonia Orchestra, Edo de Waart (conductor).
    • PHILIPS 475 782 5.
    • CD6 Tr5.
  • GEORGE ELIOT

    Stradivarius (opening extract), read by Giles Terera

  • AMY LOWELL

    From The Cremona Violin, read by Tara Fitzgerald

  • 00:19

    Kay Thompson

    I love a violin

    Performer: Petula Clark (singer).
    • WARNER ISRC GBURF0911107.
    • Tr7.
  • 00:21

    MATTHEW HINDSON

    The Metallic Violins (extract)

    Performer: James Cuddeford and Natsuko Yoshimoto (violins).
    • TALL POPPIES TP207.
    • Tr1.
  • MAURICE FRANCiS EGAN

    The Old Violin, read by Tara Fitzgerald

  • 00:27

    Antonín Dvořák

    Slavonic Dance in E minor

    Performer: Yehudi Menuhin (violin), Marcel Gazelle (piano).
    • BIDDULPH LAB128.
    • Tr13.
  • AGHA SHAHID ALI

    Violins (Eleven Stars Over Andalusia – 11.), read by Giles Terera

  • FERLINGHETTI

    Don't Let That Horse, read by Tara Fitzgerald

  • 00:34

    DINICU arr. MONDVAY

    Hora staccato for cimbalom and ensemble

    Performer: Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin), Emilia Kopatchinskaja (violin), Victor Kopatchinsky (cimbalon), Martin Gjakonovski (double bass), Mihaela Ursuleasa (piano).
    • NAÏVE V5193.
    • Tr18.
  • EDMONDS

    Little Tommy Tiddler, read by Giles Terera and Tara Fitzgerald

  • 00:36

    KREUTZER

    Etude No.2 for solo violin

    Performer: Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin).
    • CPO 999901-2.
  • W. S. MERWIN

    The Notes, read by Giles Terera

  • AYKE AGUS

    Fanfare (Chapter 1, Heifetz As I Knew Him), read by Tara Fitzgerald

  • 00:39

    Henryk Wieniawski

    Romance: Andante non troppo (Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 22)

    Performer: Jascha Heifetz (violin), London Philharmonic Orchestra, John Barbirolli (conductor).
    • NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110938.
    • Tr5.
  • 00:44

    JOHNNY BURKE / ERROLL GARNER

    Misty

    Performer: Ella Fitzgerald (singer).
    • WARNER ISRC USF096000390.
    • Tr14.
  • PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR

    My Sweet Brown Gal, read by Giles Terera

  • 00:48

    Klaus Schulze

    Milonge

    • ELIPSIS 3690.
    • Tr11.
  • MYRA BROOKS WELCH

    The Touch of the Master's Hand, read by Tara Fitzgerald

  • JULES FRANCOIS FELIX HUSSON (CHAMPFLEURY), trans. HELEN B. DOLE

    The Faience Violin (extract), read by Giles Terera

  • 00:58

    Fritz Kreisler

    Tambourin chinois, Op.3

    Performer: Fritz Kreisler (violin), Franz Rupp (piano).
    • NAXOS 8.110992.
    • Tr2.
  • HAFIZ, trans. DANIEL LADINSKY

    When the Violin, read by Tara Fitzgerald

  • 01:01

    LACHENMANN / AISHA ORAZBAYEVA

    Toccatina / Russian song

    Performer: Aisha Orazbayeva (violin).
    • NONCLASSICAL NONCLSS013.
    • Tr12.
  • GEORGE MEREDITH / JOHANN N. VOGL

    To an Old Gypsy, read by Giles Terera and Tara Fitzgerald

  • 01:06

    ROBERT PARRETT

    Irish Lament (Album: Hearing Voices)

    Performer: ROBERT PARRETT.
    • Tr32.
  • YEATS

    The Fiddler of Dooney, read by Giles Terera

  • 01:07

    FIRSOVA

    Moonlight over the sea (Munch Suite)

    Performer: Henning Kraggerud (violin).
    • SIMAX CLASSICS PSC1322.
    • Tr8.
  • PATRICK LEIGH-FERMOR

    The Violins of Saint-Jacques (extract), read by Tara Fitzgerald

  • 01:12

    Peter Warlock

    Pavane (Capriol Suite)

    Performer: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Clio Gould (violin / director).
    • APEX 256462114-2.
    • Tr8.
  • HARDY

    At Madame Tussaud's in Victorian Years, read by Giles Terera and Tara Fitzgerald

Producer note

This edition of Words and Music is a celebration of the violin and begins with the beguiling arpeggios of the Imitazione delle campane from Westhoff’s Sonata for violin and continuo, No.3, which reflect the words of Elsa Conkling’s depiction of the violin making brown music ‘like bees and honey’.  The Westhoff leads into the Pavane from the Partita No.2 in D minor by Bach that is mentioned in David Lee Garrison’s poem, Bach in the DC Subway.  
Very often there are references in literature to the soul of the violin.  I have chosen two texts to represent the violin’s soul, the first of which is Samuel Ward’s poem, Stradivarius, which is followed by John Tavener’s In Nomine played by the viol consort Fretwork, viols being the ancestors of the violin family.  A single lira playing a traditional taksim segues from the Tavener into Howard Schwartz’s fairy tale, Elijah’s Violin, which tells the story of a princess who lures her prince by playing a magic violin.  
Great violins, and particularly those made by Stradivarius and Guarneri del Gesu, fascinate the world with their increasing values.  George Eliot wrote a lengthy poem on Stradivarius, the opening of which is included in the programme and coupled with Amy Lowell’s poem, the Cremona Violin.  Matthew Hindson’s fast-paced violin duet, The Metallic Violin, recreates an auction as the two actors, Tara Fitzgerald and Giles Terera, read out the names of some of the most famous violins to have been sold under the hammer.  
I have also included some poems about travelling violins, from Agha Shahid Ali’s poem, Violins, about violins ‘weeping with gypsies going to Andalusia’, to Lawrence Ferlighetti’s humorous portrayal of Chagall’s mother warning her son not to let ‘that horse eat that violin’.  Patricia Kopatinskaja’s virtuosic performance of Dinicu’s Hora staccato with cimbalom accompaniment reflects these images of gypsy violinists.  Later in the programme, there are more travelling violins in George Meredith’s poem, To an Old Gipsy, Yeats’ the Fiddler of Dooney, and Patrick Leigh-Fermor’s haunting tale of The Violins of Saint-Jacques, as they sing from the bottom of the sea accompanied by Firsova’s Moonlight over the sea for solo violin and the Pavane from Warlock’s Capriol Suite.
Kreutzer’s Etude No.2 begins a sequence of poems and texts about learning and teaching the violin, from Edmonds’ well-loved verse Little Tommy Tiddler to W. S. Merwin’s poem The Notes and Ayke Agus’s recollections of Heifetz’s devotion to teaching the art of the violin.  The programme captures the many styles of violin playing from Heifetz in Wieniawski to Menuhin in Dvorak, Kreisler playing his own Tambourin chinois and Grumiaux in Svendsen.  These old masters are included alongside Aisha Orazbayeva playing Helmut Lachenmann’s Toccatina and the electronic strains of violins in Klaus Schulze’s Melange, plus songs about violins: Ella Fitzgerald singing Johnny Burke’s Misty and Petula Clarke singing Kay Thompson’s I love a violin.
Producer: Elizabeth Arno

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