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Aleksey Igudesman might reasonably be described as a modern day Victor Borge. With his cabaret partner, Hyung-ki Joo, he has toured concert halls all over the world, wringing all that is humorous out of classical music with just the basic tools of violin and piano. Here he turns to two violins to give two intermediate students the chance to have some fun and give their audience a little puzzle. The piece is called “The Soloist’s Ultimate Happy Birthday” but the sub-title says it all. “How to turn 13 famous violin concertos into ‘Happy Birthday’ in under three minutes”. Listeners will have great fun, first spotting the famous snippets of the 13 concertos, from Bach to Berg, then picking out how Aleksey weaves the familiar birthday tune into the music. Will it be in the tune or in the accompaniment?
The two violinists share equal billing, taking turns to introduce either the concerto or the interloper. Igudesman’s own mastery of the violin means he knows exactly how far he can push his players without making too many demands of their technique.
There is more fun to be had by one student, with their teacher on the piano, in Igudesman's “Happy Birthday Variations” for violin and piano (UE37117).
(...) Witziges Stück, nicht nur für Geburtstage. Verteilen Sie Zettel, auf dass Ihre Zuhörer die 13 Konzerte raten und notieren können!
ESTA-Nachrichten Nr. 80, Oktober 2018 (Agnes Stein von Kamienski)