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“Big works made small”. Those four words completely capture the essence of this amazing album of arrangements for two violins by David Brooker. It harks back to the days before sound recording when many people could only experience the major composers’ orchestral music in reductions for chamber ensembles; indeed, many composers made such arrangements themselves.
These arrangements will both entertain and challenge intermediate to advanced players but the technical problems are designed to be approachable and enjoyable rather than daunting. The contents cover a wide range of Russian romantic music from the 19th and 20th centuries, taking in the ultimate lyricism of Borodin’s Nocturne, through the fireworks of Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance to the musical athletics of Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights, better known these days as the theme tune to “The Apprentice”.
The arrangements would be ideal pieces to open or close a violin lesson; even more so as an unexpected encore in an informal concert. Eleven full-length arrangements of well-known pieces make this album fantastic value for money.
These 11 pieces will be sure to appeal to intermediate-level and advanced duettists.
Stringendo Magazine Volume 40 No.1, April 2018 (Mary Nemet)
There is such a lovely wide variety of styles and moods within this book that I would definitely recommend it for your students for fun duet playing- and not just for sight-reading.
Arco Magazine, Volume 44 No.2, Spring 2018 (Vivienne Blumfield)