Category: Intermediate

Count Dracula’s Waltz

This piece is an imagining of a Waltz that may have been danced at an elegant ball given by the debonaire Count Dracula in his Gothic castle. A fun choice for Halloween, it is written in the key of D minor, creating a slightly dark feel, and modulating briefly to G minor. The melodies and accompaniments are swapped and shared throughout, giving players an opportunity to learn about the relationship and balance between voices. Attention given to subtle dynamics and musical phrasing further creates a sense of style. First finger shifts for upper strings and some optional 3rd position work for violin 1 provide additional technical challenges.

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Sea Fever

Sea Fever evokes the exhilaration and grandeur of a voyage on the high seas, drawing its mood and imagery from the famous poem of the same name by John Masefield.

This work was commissioned by the Australian String Teachers Association and was premiered by massed string orchestra at the 2019 Melbourne String Orchestra Festival.

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Storm Warrior

Strong driving rhythmic sections are juxtaposed with sustained melodies to create the colourful fantasy world of the Storm Warrior. The continuous rhythmic patterns are passed between instruments while contrasting melodic themes move seamlessly from sonorous lines in the low register to delicate lines in the upper. A great piece to develop listening and ensemble skills.

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Passacaglia

Written in the style of a Baroque Passacaglia, this piece consists of a series of elegant melodic variations over a relaxed ostinato line shared between all instruments. The main theme is introduced in a simple form at the beginning of the piece, gradually becoming more complex as each counter-melody is added. Passacaglia offers a valuable opportunity to work on the sustained bow, tone production, phrasing and ensemble skills.

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Little Critters

A lively piece full of contrasting moods and styles depicting the sly antics of mischievous, imaginary little critters running wild. Themes are thrown from instrument to instrument with interjections and driving quaver passages, creating a picture of chaos. The introduction of the 6/8 grazioso section appears to restore a semblance of order while maintaining an underlying sense of impending disaster. The first theme re-appears in a more complex form and moves to an exciting conclusion. A comprehensive range of dynamics, bowings and articulation makes this piece a challenging and enjoyable addition to your teaching repertoire.

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