Based on a transcription of two Hungarian Jewish folk tunes combined to make a lively short concert item.
Listen to a performance of Transylvanian Dances played by the Jade Quartet on Soundcloud
Transylvanian Dances was commissioned by The Jade String Quartet (Miranda Adams, William Hanfling, Robert Ashworth, Claudia Price) for their Arts on Tour series of concerts, October 5-28, 2007. The piece was funded as part of the composer's work at the University of Otago.
Transylvanian Dances is based on two folk tunes that appear on the album The Lost Jewish Music of Transylvania (HNCD 1373), by the Hungarian group Muzsikas. These folk tunes were well known to Jewish communities in Transylavania before the Second World War but were lost following the holocaust. In the 1990s, Muzsikas combined forces with two old Gypsy players who could still remember the tunes. Together they reconstructed the items in full, bringing to life music that had been silent for 50 years.
In Transylvanian Dances the tunes are transcribed and arranged for string quartet, and also developed into original passages of music, in an improvisational manner. Most motifs are derived from the folk music, but some additions are made, particularly in the harmonies. Some of the timbres in the quartet are designed to mimic the sound of the cimbalom, a Hungarian percussion instrument. The low-pitched, chugging chords on viola and cello also conjure up a familiar sound from Transylvanian folk bands.
The two dance tunes transcribed in the music are:
Acknowledgement The composer gratefully acknowledges permission from Muzsikas to use these two folk tunes in Transylvanian Dances.
Duration: 6:30 approx.
Dedicated to The Jade String Quartet
Orders are saved in a secure Paypal shopping cart which is viewed on a separate browser tab. When you have finished shopping, simply Check Out for a Secure Guest check out using your credit card, or to use an existing Paypal account choose Paypal Check Out.
Orders are processed every 5 minutes. An email with a link to each file should arrive within 6 minutes of checking out. If it does not arrive we will likely notice during a New Zealand working day but please send an email to bellbirdpublications at gmail dot com if you have any problems with ordering.