Latin Primer [violin & orchestra]: Samba - Cha-Cha-Cha - Joropo - Rumba - Finale
Christmas 2010: as often at this time of year I fill the hours around the festivities with bits of composing and as before some germ of an idea has taken hold and I have found myself immersed in a new and entirely unplanned project. The first four movements were thus written quite quickly over a ten-day period.
This suite was first composed for violin & piano [click here for this version] - but inevitably, I suppose, I orchestrated them! It's quick work using Sibelius ! Here they are [East West sounds as usual these days]. All done in haste between meals/walks/visits to relatives.... so there were small revisions in the days/weeks after Christmas. The scoring is for single woodwind [but including piccolo, alto flute, cor anglais, bass clarinet and contra bassoon] - three horns, four trombones, tuba, usual strings and solo violin. No percussion at all.... all the rhythm is in the other instruments.
January 23 (2011): I added a finale with touches of the Marcha, the Conga, and bits of the previous movements mashed together....
The title - Latin Primer - refers to that text-book my generation learned both to love and hate: Kennedy's Latin Primer. A jokey title maybe, but it also reflects my lack of any Latin-American know-how, which is probably very evident in these pieces.
In February 2013 I prepared a slightly different recording - same score, no changes, just experimented with the balance of sound between instruments. Whilst yearning for a real live orchestra to perform this, the sounds created by the East West library are very acceptable, and although I am not an expert when it comes to refining the sophisticated controls for each individual instrument, I am able to play around with the basic balancing of the solo/ensemble mix. As it is, the default settings are very adequate. You can take your pick of these two recordings!
Latin Primer - scored for mixed septet
I rescored this work for septet in March 2011 - flute doubling piccolo, oboe doubling cor anglais, clarinet doubling bass clarinet, violin, viola, cello & double bass.