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Mendy Smith

The Composers: Z to A

November 17, 2009 at 3:52 AM

It was suggested to me, in a not so subtle way, that I've been spending entirely too much time with composers that start with the letter B:  Bach, Bloch, Brahms, Borodin, Bruch, Bridge, etc. etc.  As a remedy to my  "B" fixation,  a viola concerto by the composer Zelter was suggested.  Another friend chimed in and recommended a piece called Embellie by Xenakis.  The original instigator then suggested Ysayë. 

So now begins the hunt for pieces written (or transcribed) for viola by composers that cover the whole of the alphabet, starting with Z.  While I don't have a copy of Z, X or Y yet, and not close to ready to tackle the one and only W composer I have in my library, I do have a few V's in my library that are attainable. 

So, I'm starting with Vieuxtemps Capriccio.  At first glance, I had a small heart attack.  So many black lines.  Then I saw the words that gave me a glimmer of hope: Molto and Lento.  Then I looked again.  Arpeggiated chords and chromatic runs.  I started to sweat.  But then again, I was able to manage the Hebraique after alot of work, so why not this piece?  I just need to remind myself: start slllooooowwwww.  How much slower can you take Molto Lento anyway?  I'm finding out now....

But take away all the chords, runs, trills, and other such ornamenation, and underlying it all is a melody that can break your heart.  So I'm starting there, with the simplest of melodies, ever so slowly, and adding the ornamentation a bit at a time.  I may never add all the ornamentation as written, but it doesn't really matter.  When I do end up performing this piece, it won't be for showing off my virtuoso skills (if they existed at all), but to convey what that underlying melody means, at least to me.

From Terez Mertes
Posted on November 17, 2009 at 6:36 PM

 I'm willing to hazard a guess that many of us suffer from the "B" syndrome (if only in listening and not playing). I'm currently wrapped up in Sibelius too. That would be the "BS" syndrome.

Dvorak - another favorite. Let's throw in Cesar Franck, too, whose music recordings I've been accruing these past few months. That would give me BFD Syndrome.

Oh, we could have some fun with these syndromes, I sense... : )

Glad you're branching out.

From Tom Holzman
Posted on November 17, 2009 at 8:41 PM

Once you get to V, you could be stuck on Vivaldi forever!

From Johnny Fang
Posted on November 18, 2009 at 3:09 AM

Mendy:  Luckily the Zelter concerto can be found at:,_Carl_Friedrich

Hope you're enjoying life in Texas.

Take care, Johnny

From Mendy Smith
Posted on November 18, 2009 at 5:22 AM

 Hey Johnny!  Long time no talk!  Thanks, I'll download that.  But for now, working on V.

Texas is treating me well.  I'm busy as ever.  This week I have rehearsals/concerts of some sort or another through Sunday.  


From Ray Randall
Posted on November 18, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Xanrof, Leon (1867 - 1953)
Xarchakos, Stavros (b. 1939)
Xavier, Joao
Xavier, L.
Xenakis, Iannis (1922 - 2001)
Xhaferaj, Halil
Xhambazi, Ilir
Xian, Xinghai (1909 - 1945)
Xiang, Si-hua
Xiao, Chung
Xiao, Jiang
Xiao, Tie-hong
Ximenez, Antonio (1751 - 1826)
Ximenez, Jose (1601 - 1672)
Ximeno, Fabian
Xin, Huguang (b. 1933)
XL, Junkie (b. 12/08/1967)
Xu, Chang-jun
Xu, Chao-min
Xu, Dong-fei (b. 1970)
Xu, Fei-sheng
Xu, Jingxin
Xu, Xiyi
Xu, Zhenmin (b. 1934)
Xuan Ba
Xuxu, Carlos

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