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“In the Zoo 2” is a further collection of intermediate pieces for violin and piano by Aleksey Igudesman, depicting many of a child’s favourite animals. Spanning from UK Grade 2 to 4, they will inspire young violinists to interpret the sounds and actions of the animals as notated by the composer and help them understand how abstract music can depict something very real. But what makes these compositions ingenious as teaching pieces is that, hidden within, are very useful technical studies.
For example, in “The Turtle”, steady bowing is needed to make a good tone in the long notes depicting this slow-moving creature. In “The Crocodile”, short, staccato double stops (easy ones!) depict the snapping jaws and are contrasted with legato, sinuous passages as the animal creeps up on its prey! A clever piano part allows the teacher to support his or her young student and perhaps make a captivating concert piece for the end of term presentation.
Aleksey Igudesman brings his characteristic wit and quirky flair to these collections for younger players. The two sets of In the Zoo pieces are aimed at players from ABRSM grades 2 to 4 and, I’m sure, will capture the imagination of even the most reluctant student. (...) All told, these are two winning collections of pieces, which have been thoughtfully put together to engage younger players – and are the perfect outlet for Igudesman’s own impish humour.
The Strad Magazine, November 2017 (Catherine Nelson)
If you have a talented primary age student who you would like to encourage towards very imaginative performance, then this album would be a lovely addition to more regular teaching material.
Arco Magazine, Autumn 2017 (Vivienne Blumfield)