• violin

    The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan

    by  • March 26, 2012 • BassClarinet, cello, Chamber and Solo Instrumental, music, percussion, quartet, sample, violin

    25 pieces for violin, cello, bass clarinet, percussion, SATB chorus and vocal soloists Various selections, including Sneaky (1:30), Bullfight (4:00), Burlesque (5:00), Minotaur Cave (3:15)

    In 2002, puppeteer, author and musician Judd Palmer heard a performance of The Benevolent Predator, and was moved to exclaim “By God, you simply must write music for a...

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    Waiting for the First Crocus

    by  • March 26, 2012 • Chamber and Solo Instrumental, music, piano, violin

    for violin and piano (4:00)

          Waiting for the First Crocus

    I wrote this piece as a Christmas present for my late Mum, Mary Fenwick, in 1996, and revised the piano part in 2001.

    One of her great joys was spotting the first crocus of the year, its purple flower standing out against a thin blanket of snow.

    While writing this piece, I imagined her as a girl, staring out a window at a bleak February prairie landscape, keeping faith that the days were getting longer, and better weather was on its way.

    I think of her, and this music, as I make my annual spring pilgrimage to the banks of the Elbow River above Sandy Beach, Calgary, where crocuses are abundant.

    In the fall of 2002, Andrea Davison (piano) and Diane Lane (violin) made a lovely recording of this piece!

    Black Jacques

    by  • March 26, 2012 • cello, music, orchestra, Orchestral, quartet, String, viola, violin

    for string quartet (6:30)
    or string orchestra (6:30)

          Black Jacques

    This piece is dedicated to the memory of Jack (1980? – 1996), a snaggle-toothed feline who came to stay with the Fenwick family for a night and lingered for many years.

    Much of Black Jacques’ thematic material was plundered from two well-known songs: “Frere Jacques” and “Hit the Road, Jack”, which (by coincidence) shares a bass line with “The Cat Came Back” and “Stray Cat Strut”.

    The version for string quartet was premiered by the Sunrise String Quartet in 1999.  It has since been performed in Cranbrook, BC, Saskatoon, SK, and by Land’s End Chamber Ensemble during their three Noche de Brujas cabaret performances at the Beat Niq Jazz and Social Club in Calgary in October, 2007.

    The version for string orchestra was premiered by the Calgary Chamber Players under the skillful direction of Chris Sandvoss late in 1999, or maybe early in 2000 (I was there, but now I forget which).  It has also been performed in Regina, SK.

    I know, you’re thinking that Jack gets around, but there’s more…

    The third version of Black Jacques, for full orchestra, was commissioned by Edmond Agopian, and was completed with the generous support of the Rozsa Foundation.  Mr. Agopian led the Calgary Youth Orchestra in the premiere of the full orchestral version on April 22, 2012, at Calgary’s Leacock Theatre.

    The Calgary Youth Orchestra will perform the piece four times during its August, 2012 tour of France: at La Madeline, in Paris; the Cryptoportique Gardens in Reims; Isigny-sur-mer; and during the Semaine Acadienne festival in St-Aubin-sur-mer.

    The Benevolent Predator

    by  • March 26, 2012 • cello, Chamber and Solo Instrumental, music, percussion, saxophone, violin

    for electric violin, cello, alto saxophone, synthesizer, piano, percussion (7:00)

    The Benevolent Predator was hatched in 2002 especially for the Land’s End Chamber Ensemble.  He… or she… was unleashed during the group’s cabaret at Calgary’s Beat Niq Jazz and Social Club, in March of that year.  Her distinctive call was heard again in November 2006, at Art Central.

    The Predator is quick to tip her… or his… beastly hat towards progressive rock stalwarts King Crimson and Eddie Jobson (who gleefully wielded a semi-transparent electric fiddle, back in the day), and shows signs of having devoured other, more well-mannered musical luminaries.

          The Benevolent Predator

    Girl, Tomorrow Never Knows if Norwegians Would

    by  • March 26, 2012 • arrangements, cello, music, quartet, String, viola, violin

    (Lennon/McCartney – 6:00)

          Girl