MAQA VIOLIN : for solo violin
by Yitzhak Yedid (2018)
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MAQA VIOLIN was conceived in 2018 by Israeli-Australian composer/pianist Yitzhak Yedid in Brisbane, Australia during his prolific two-year period of composition funded by the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship. Composed for a triumvirate of virtuoso violinists: Graeme Jennings, Karen Bentley Pollick and Hagai Shaham, MAQA Violin was workshopped and premiered by Jennings at Darmstadt Summer School and Festival in July 2018.
The work is a synthesis of musical traditions, colours, textures and energies. It explores maqamat (Arabic modal system) and avant-garde with traditional melodic and formal conventions. In Part 1 (a' la maqam Saba) the tetrachord of Saba (D, E 1/4 flat, F, G flat) permeates a lively Arabic folk dance alternating between rhythmic riffs and chromatic melodies. In Part 2, a' la maqam Hijaz, Hijaz mode (C, D flat, E, F, G, A, B flat) is being exploit in a wide range of pizzicato techniques in a 10/8 + 7/8 meter and Presto tempo. Rapid firing 1/16th notes, tremolos a la mandolin, right and left hands slapping the fingerboard, and strumming in guitar position constitute a tour de force musical image. A' la Taqsim (Part 3) is an improvisatory movement emerging from the low A to establish the tonal center before embarking into sul tasto extreme alternating with sul ponticello extreme, playing in the highest register with the fingernail of the left hand, all framing the plaintive ascending melodies high on the G string. Part 4, a' la maqam Sikah Baladi (G, A flat, B, C, D, E flat, G sharp) is a chromatic virtuoso Vivacissimo, staccatissimo dance for the bow with glissandi up, down and around the maqam tones. An Ecstatic Debqa Dance (Part 5) is the finale, replete with non pitched percussive effects, Arabic folk dance accompanied by foot stomping, aleatoric pizzicato, sul ponticello, and bow slapping and sliding.
Duration: 17 min.
Contents note: 1. a' la maqam Saba -- 2. a' la maqam Hijaz -- 3. a' la Taqsim -- 4. a' la maqam Sikah Baladi -- 5. ecstatic Debqa dance.
Written for: Graeme Jennings
Commission note: Commissioned with funds provided by Australia Council.
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