We list here a number of new transcriptions, and some older titles of special interest. All are for string quartet unless otherwise noted.
A Movement for String Quartet by H. S. M. (Donald) Coxeter
H. S. M. Coxeter (1907-2003) was a distinguished and influential geometer and mathematician, whose career at the University of Toronto spanned six decades. As a young man he showed equal talent for mathematics and music; he was an accomplished pianist by the age of 10, and composed songs, piano pieces, and incidental music for a Chesterton play (Magic), among other works.
In May, 2004, the Fields Institute held a Symposium in his honour, at which many of his former students, and other research mathematicians, spoke on topics arising from his work. A concert was prepared as part of that Symposium, which included two of his songs, an untitled piano piece, and a movement for string quartet, written in 1923.
The young Coxeter had absorbed the late-19th-century musical vocabulary, but he uses it very much in his own way. His Movement for String Quartet is a substantial and charming piece, well worth playing and hearing. It has not previously been published, or available in any form.
Score and set of parts, $15.
Eyli, Eyli — in transcription for string quartet
Eyli, Eyli, probably the most frequently re-published Yiddish song, was written by Jacob Sandler (186?-1931) for a play staged in New York in 1896. It was first published, in an arrangement by H. A. Russotto, in 1907. The song was part of Al Jolson’s repertoire, and Mischa Elman made and recorded a transcription for violin and piano. During World War II, Eyli, Eyli was sung by Miriam Eisenstadt, “the nightingale of the Warsaw Ghetto”. More recently, the song was one of the first recorded by Jewish singers in Soviet Russia after the thaw. The text begins “Eyli, eyli, lomo azavtoni?” (My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?)
Score, text, and parts — $10
Zog Nit Keyn Mol (Partisan Hymn)
This haunting song, with Yiddish text written in 1943 by Hirsh Glick, was adopted as an anthem by numerous Jewish resistance groups in Eastern Europe during World War II. Since the war it has become an anthem of Holocaust survivors. This version for string quartet has (like the original) five verses, distributed democratically among the four instruments. The text, in Yiddish and English, is included. The first line is: Zog nit keynmol az du gayst dem letzten veg (Never say that this is the end of the road). Score, text, and parts — $10.
More: A recording of Paul Robeson singing Zog Nit Keyn Mol in Moscow in 1949 can be found here. NOTE: among the photos accompanying this recording is one apparently showing the front page of the New York Times for May 10, 1943, with a headline reading “Warsaw Ghetto Uprising an Over-Reaction” and several similarly scurrilous subheads. In fact this is a (poor attempt at) satire and not a genuine New York Times page. See this page.
Turk — a faithful dog, and a Haydn canon
Venanzio Rauzzini (1746-1810) was an Italian-born castrato singer, teacher, and composer; he sang the premier performance of Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate. He went to England in 1774 and remained there for the rest of his life. When his dog, Turk, died, Rauzzini erected a memorial to him in his garden at Bath, which Haydn saw on a visit to Rauzzini in August of 1794. Haydn set part of the memorial inscription as a four-part canon. This edition gives both Haydn’s canon, which can be sung as a four-part round, and a realization for string quartet (set of parts). $6 + postage, or FREE on request with an order over $35.
the Haydn/Stadler canons on Der Greis
Haydn completed only two movements of his last string quartet (known as #83, Opus 103). In 1806, apparently in despair of completing it, he sent it to his publisher with the opening measures of his song Der Greis (The Old Man) attached. He also had these measures printed as a farewell card. The text is “Hin ist alle meine Kraft, alt und schwach bin ich” (Fled forever is my strength, Old and weak am I).
The Abbé Stadler (1748-1833), a close friend of both Haydn and Mozart, composed at least two different canonic completions of Haydn’s farewell theme:
— a canon for Soprano, Tenor, and Piano, with additional text:
Hin ist alle meine Kraft, [Fled forever is my strength]
Doch, was sie erschuf, bleibt stets. [But what it has achieved stands fast.]
alt und schwach bin ich [Old and weak am I]
Ewig lebt dein Ruhm. [Lasting is thy fame.]
— a short canonic movement for String Quartet in which Haydn’s “Der Greis” theme appears at its original pitch, a third below, a fifth below, and a seventh below.
— the Vocal Canon (Soprano and Tenor with Piano), $8 + postage, or FREE on request with an order over $50
— the canon for String Quartet (score and parts), $9 + postage, or FREE on request with an order over $50.
#491. Indian Summer (“An American Idyll”) by Victor Herbert. A smooth seductive salon piece from 1919. $7.00
#412. Tuomala Tunes: Eleven Children’s Songs: melodies by Heikki Tuomala, realizations for string quartet by Charles Small (4 Lullabies. Anna’s Song, Home, Love Song, Shepherd Boy, Cat, Old Frog, Horse)
set of parts, $12.00; score, $8.00
#461. Chopineske – An irreverent piece based on Chopin’s famous little prelude Opus 28, #7. $5.00
#468. Danny Boy (aka Eily Dear, Would God I Were the Tender Apple Blossom, Londonderry Air, and (in some circles) London Derrière) A slightly adventurous rendering of this much-loved song.
set of parts $6.00; score, $5.00; both, $10.00
#433. You Are My Sunshine (a romp, based on the familiar song by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell) $6.00
#469. Four Pieces by Ernesto Nazareth (1863-1934), an important Brazilian composer of more than 200 Tangos, Waltzes, etc. He was also a prolific composer of music to accompany silent movies. ESCOREGANDO (Tango Brasiliero), CORAÇÃO QUE SENTE (Valsa), ODEON (Tango Brasiliero), and VITORIOSO (Tango). Originally for piano, arranged for string quartet. This is music which cannot be heard, or played, without broad smiles all around!
$6 each, or $20 for all four.
#470. Four Elizabethan Madrigals: The Silver Swan (Orlando Gibbons, 1583-1625), Matona Mia Cara (Orlando di Lasso, 1532-1594), April is in my Mistress’ Face (Thomas Morley, 1557-1603) and Now is the Month of Maying (Thomas Morley), transcribed for string quartet. $6 each, or $20 for all four.
#471. Franz Schubert, Salve Regina, an early (1816) piece originally for choir (SATB), transcribed for string quartet. A lovely quiet meditation. set of parts, $8
A bonbon for (various versions of) string trio: The slightly deranged final movement (Gigue) from Bach’s Partita #1, for Clavier, in Bb. The middle voice (viola, or violin 2) is a challenging Moto Perpetuo– the other two instruments have an easier time of it.
A showy encore, and a snappy party piece!
Available in three versions:
#309A — string trio (Violin, Viola, Cello)
#309B — modified string trio (Two Violins and Cello)
#309C — “terzetto” version (Two Violins and Viola)
Each version, score and set of parts, $8 Any two versions, $14. All three, $20.
Au Fond du Temple Saint— the famous duet aria (tenor/baritone) from Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers.
We offer two instrumental versions:
— A transcription for viola and cello, or two violas, with piano.
Set of parts, $8.
— #473. An arrangement for String Quartet, with the vocal lines given to viola and cello. Score and set of parts, $10.
#472. Ruhe Sanft, mein holdes Leben— A soprano aria from Mozart’s unfinished 1779 opera Zaide. Arrangement for String Quartet. A lovely quiet piece, perfect for weddings. Score and set of parts, $10.
#474. George Gershwin: Prelude #2 (from Three Preludes, for piano) A moody bluesy piece, which works beautifully for string quartet. The middle section gives the cello a chance to wail.
Set of parts $7, score $5, both $10.
#475. Verdi: the Quartet from Act IV of Rigoletto. In this String Quartet transcription the cello sings the title role; the viola is the Duke, and the violins are Gilda and Maddalena. The four players double as the orchestra too, of course . . . Parts $6, score $4, both $9.
#494. For VIOLA QUARTET (4 Violas) — Couperin, Les Barricades Mystérieux. A charmer, originally for clavecin. Score and parts, $10.