Aleksey Igudesman has always enjoyed writing pieces inspired by animals. His latest collections “In the Zoo” and “In the Zoo 2” were great fun and had the bonus of concealing useful technical studies in the music so that young players could improve their technique without knowing they were working hard! Aleksey wondered how he could follow these books and decided to choose animals that few people even knew existed.
So, in “Funny Animals”, for violin and piano, we meet such creatures as the Panda Ant, the Aye-Aye and the Dumbo Octopus! The animals are introduced with texts and pictures by his friend Magdalena Hoffmann. Aleksey says that, if you only want to play the music, that’s great but he provides lots of theatrical instructions for a stage performance.
You might find yourself blowing kisses to the audience or playing while standing on one leg! If you have the nerve to do this and film yourself for YouTube he says you should mention his name and tag him and you will find yourself featured on his own homepage. Do this, he says, and your route to stardom is guaranteed! The music does not demand great technical ability from the player but maybe… on one leg?
(...) His zany humour makes these surreal little pieces a thoroughly enjoyable diversion for young violinists – and their teachers too.
The Strad Magazine Vol. 129, October 2018 (Catherine Nelson)