A concerto which remains entirely in first position, this concerto contains catchy melodies yet still provides some technical challenges to stretch the player. First published in 1911, some 7 years before the composer’s death (1840-1911)
Month: October 2020
Top 5 Violin Showpieces
Violin show pieces are the pieces which are at the limit of violin technique. They are difficult, flashy, and impressive. Here’s my list of the top 10 violin showpieces.
Paganini – Caprice 24
Paganini’s 24 Caprices are some of the most difficult for the violin, and being able to play any of them is a great accomplishment. However, the 24th Caprice is by far the most famous, and most difficult. Based upon a Theme and Variations model, this caprice employs many of the most difficult violin techniques in a musically solid base. This video is of Hillary Hahn performing this Caprice. Continue reading “Top 5 Violin Showpieces”
Czardas – Monti
Composed by Italian composor Vittorio Monti (1868-1922) in 1904, Csárdás was originally written for violin, mandolin or piano, and runs for about four and a half minutes. Written in seven different sections, it alternates tempo and occasionally key to add interest and excitement.
Get your copy of Monti’s Czardas from Amazon:
What the Lord Has Done in Me
“Let the weak say “I am strong,” let the poor say, “I am rich”, let the blind say “I can see, It’s what the Lord has done in me.”
This great song by Hillsong’s Reuben Morgan speaks of the amazing upside-down world that Christ provides.
This is an arrangement for Choir with Piano accompaniment, and optional violin. The opening solo can be sung by a Tenor or Alto, depending on your choir’s strengths.
SATB arrangement with Piano accompaniment and optional violin. List price: $7.99.
Learning the Joachim Cadenza
I’m teaching myself Joachim’s Cadenza to Mozart’s Violin Concerto Number 4 in D Major, by practicing it every day and uploading my progress to TikTok. This is my weekly log so I can see the improvement over time.
Two Hackers play the World’s Longest Golf Course
In March 2020, my Dad and I drove from Victoria to WA, and along the way, we played the world’s longest golf course – the Nullabor Links, spanning over 1400kms from Ceduna, South Australia to Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
Driving across the Nullabor
In March, my family moved from a little country Victorian town called Rochester , and headed home to Perth. As part of the move, I drove the 3,333km with my Dad and I decided to film it on my GoPro on Hyperlapse (30x). And then when I started editing, I decided to write some music to go with it.
First is a bit of dabbling at creating some atmospheric music. I’ve titled it Head of the Bite.
Next is a solo piano work I composed titled Nullabor. 0:22:30
Finally, I found an old song from the 1920s called At the End of the Road, by James F. Hanley and Ballard Macdonald. I recorded it, changed it from being about Indiana to being about West Australia, and there we go. 0:36:00
I still had a bit of time, so the video finishes with a bit more of Head of the Bite.
Westworld scoring competition
So while I was browsing for some new sounds to play around with, I noticed that Spitfire Audio was holding a competition – score a scene from the new season of Westworld, and potentially win the complete collection of Spitfire Audio sounds.
This is my first attempt at scoring to film, and it was fun to explore this area. I utilised a rhythmic and harmonic ostinato to help build tension, rising in pitch and tempo as we build to the climax. I tried a few different things at the end, including the final bars of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony – it was close, but not quite what I was trying for, so I utilised his instrumentation and voicing for the final chord, and adjusted it so that it fit thematically with what I had been building towards.
Me! – Taylor Swift cover
Me! – by Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie – performed by two violins, piano, acoustic guitar, cajon, and tamborine. All instruments performed by Ben Clapton.
ME! was written by Taylor Swift and Bendon Urie (From Panic! at the Disco), released on April 26, 2019. This arrangement is for two violins, one taking Taylor’s part, and the other Brendon’s part. This gives both players the opportunity to shine. A Piano part accompanies, and a suggested cajon part, although this could easily be replaced by drums.
ME! is a bubblegum pop song about embracing your individuality and owning it. It’s a tune that can get stuck in your head and makes people feel better about themselves.
Two violin and piano accompaniment. List price: US$10.00. Buy it at Sheet Music Plus.
I saw this song being sung by an Irish lass at the end of a wedding, and I thought to myself “I have to learn that song.” Watch to the end for some extra cuteness.
I have also arranged it for SATB. This is a fun little piece with a humorous twist at the end – feel free to play this up as you perform it. Everyone gets a chance to shine in this arrangement for Acapella SATB group – suitable for performance as a quartet or in a larger ensemble.
SATB Arrangement. List price: $7.99. Buy at Sheet Music Plus.