Chôros, Opus 61 (1994-95) for violin solo

Thomas Oboe Lee

About this work:

Daniel Stepner, violin Chôros for solo violin is in seven sections.

I. Chôro vivo

II. Sambinha chorôso

III. Valsa lenta

IV. Valsa serenata

V. Polca-chôro

VI. Valsa graciosa

VII. Chôro reprise

When Daniel Stepner commissioned me to write a work for solo violin, I of course went straight to the Solo Partitas by JS Bach for inspiration. The Brazilian chôro masters - Heitor Villa-Lobos, Pixinguinha, Ernesto Nazareth, and Zequinha Abreu - also wrote their wonderful music with "old Bach" in mind. Under these two influences I went to work, shamelessly borrowing from both.

Formally, the chôro patterns itself after the baroque dance suite. In my work, the movements - chôro vivo, sambinha chorôso, valsa lenta, valsa serenata, polca-chôro, valsa graciosa, and chôro reprise - are, respectively, similar in character to the allemande, courante, sarabande, menuet I, gavotte, menuet II, and gigue.

The spirit of the music, however, leans toward the Brazilians rather than Bach. The first two movements are lively sambas, followed by three typical old-fashioned "sentimental" waltzes and a polka. Instead of a gigue, the last movement is a repeat, but shorter version, of the first, bringing the whole to a close.

Year composed: 1995
Duration: 00:13:00
Ensemble type: Solo instrument, non-keyboard:Violin
Instrumentation notes: Solo violin.

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