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Violin Trios and Quartets

Violin Trios new listings
The Maid and the Grenadier - English Folk Songs arr. Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 50702011  
English folk songs were brought to America with the early colonists and are an important part of our heritage. Polly Oliver is a lyrical song about a girl who joins the army posing as a man in order to find her lover. A Grenadier is a 17th century specialized soldier of the highest order. The 2nd movement depicts this in royal march style. The piece proceeds thru three major keys: G, D and E and is mostly in first position and is rhythmically challenging in The Grenadier. A viola part is included tor optional replacement of the third violin part.

Spiritual Snippets - Traditional Spirituals arr. Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 50702007  
This trio arrangement was first made for three cellos and is now available for Violin Trio, or for Two Violins and Viola. It is truly American music including excerpts or snippets of five familiar spirituals: Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, O Mary Don’t You Weep, I Want to Be Ready, Steal Away, and Little David Play on Your Harp. This arrangement is challenging because of the independent rhythms in each part and frequent key and meter changes. Keys are G, D, and A major. A viola part is included to replace the 3rd violin. This arrangement can all be played in first position.

Old English Songs - arr. Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 50702009  
These two familiar old English songs are from Scotland and Ireland: When Love is Kind and Flow Gently Sweet Afton. They both have beautiful and expressive melodies and harmonies that sometimes offer surprises. Good intonation is obviously necessary, but give special care to the chromatic passages. Ensemble members must learn to ritard and phrase together. It is equally effective using the optional viola part for third violin.

Appalachian Tidbits - Mountain Songs arr. Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 50702005  
This Trio can be effectively performed by a variety of instrumentations. Parts are included for violins, viola and cello. Songs from Appalachia are an important part of our musical heritage: Old Joe Clark, Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier and L’il Liza Jane. The key signature may look like A major, but when the flatted seventh is used it has a modal sound. The first and last songs are fiddle tunes; for contrast, a sad lyrical tune is sandwiched in between. Players and audiences will enjoy this trip to rural America.

Violin Trios
Andante and Allegro from Trio 1, Opus 83 - Hook/Hall
Difficulty: MD  OMEA Class: A  Publ. Code: 20712103  
These two contrasting pieces by the early English composer, James Hook were originally composed for flute trio. Both movements are in the key of D. Skill of playing in 3rd position is necessary for the first violin, and is advantageous for the other two parts. The light staccato style called for in the Allegro requires technical facility in all three parts. Even though it is Baroque music, the staccato style of this allegro is more like Classical Viennese. The total duration is about 4 minutes

Largo and Rigaudoon - Quantz/Hall
Difficulty: MD  OMEA Class: A  Publ. Code: 20712102  
This trio calls for three violins of equal ability. The melodies and harmonies in the Largo are beautiful and expressive, and the marcato-staccato style of the Rigaudoon calls for some moderately challenging technique and skill of position playing in all three parts. Both movements are in D major and the total duration is 6’30” with all repeats.

Irish Air and Dance - Hall, arr.
Difficulty: MD  OMEA Class: A  Publ. Code: 20712105  
These two familiar Irish tunes (Londonderry Air & Galway Piper) offer a different experience for string ensembles who so often are relegated to Baroque music. There is no song in the world any more beautiful than Londonderry Air which calls for expressive playing of the highest order. Parts are all in first position range in this song, but rubato of tempo and sensitive musicianship are absolutely necessary for a quality performance. Galway Piper does require skill in third position and rapid bow technique to bring out the excitement of that familiar Irish dance, Keys are G and A major and duration is 4’30.” An optional part for viola is supplied in lieu of 3rd violin.

Trio Sonata, Op. 3, No. 2 - Corelli/Hall
Difficulty: D  OMEA Class: A  Publ. Code: 20712107  
Corelli lived in the late 1600’s, a time when the violin first reached its peak of development. This magnificent trio sonata originally had a harpsichord part with it in the figured bass style, but in this arrangement the three parts stand alone musically. It was originally written for 2 violins and cellos and can be secured from this publisher for that instrumentation (20702101). In this edition the cello part has been adapted for 3rd violin or for viola. There are 4 short movements with a total duration of 7 minutes. Skill in position playing is necessary. The same music material is also available for string quartet under the title of Corelli Suite (20703101).

Sarabande and March - Handel/Hall
Difficulty: MD  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20712101  
Skill of position playing is necessary for first violin and helpful in other parts. The Sarabande is in D minor and the March is in G major. Players will enjoy balancing dissonances and resolving them to consonance in the traditional Baroque style, affording an experience in sensitive musicianship. Trills are abundant, making trill technique necessary. The March is the same piece as the violin trio March in D, but it lies a fourth higher making it much more challenging regarding technique. Duration is 4’30.”

March in D - Handel/Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20712104  
Range is basically first position, but 3rd position is absolutely necessary in order to play the trills which are very important to a successful performance of this wonderful piece by Handel. This is the same march that is included in the violin trio Sarabande and March, but it is in a lower key (D major) to make it more accessible for less advanced players. However, parts are rhythmically independent. Duration is 3’45.” Viola may be used on the 3rd part.

Sea Chanteys - American Sea Chanteys/Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20712106  
Here is an opportunity for string players to play something other than Baroque music. These two familiar chanteys are a part of our historical legacy. The beautiful song Shenandoah has just one passage calling for third position and Drunken Sailor can be played all in first position, but with some technical demands. Independent rhythms abound in both pieces. Keys are G major and A minor and total duration is 5’30.” A viola part is supplied for an optional replacement of the 3rd violin part.

Firework Music - Handel/Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20712109  
Handel’s Firework Music has enjoyed similar popularity to his Water Music. Just two contrasting movements are included in this arrangement. The Minuet can be played all in first position, but La Rejouissance requires some skill in higher positions in some of the parts. Both movements are in the key of D Major and lie well for strings. The third part can also be played by viola, or cello with parts supplied.

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring - Bach/Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 00445  
This well-known piece is based on a chorale by Johann Schop first published in 1642. Bach transformed it into a 4 part choral composition, devising an obligato melody that has become one of his most recognizable pieces. In this arrangement for violin trio the obligato melody is transferred from one part to another in the first three voices so that all parts have the interesting melody. The chorale melody is also alternated between the three voices. A similar arrangement is available for violin quartet (00476).

Songs from “Elijah” - Mendelssohn/Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 00446  
The oratorio “Elijah” is considered to be one of Mendelssohn’s greatest works. If With All Your Hearts is a tenor solo in the oratorio, and Lift Thine Eyes is an unaccompanied SSA trio. Both adapt very well for violin trio, and equally well for 2 violins and viola. Sensitive musicianship is required.

Short and Suite - Faber/Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: B and C  Publ. Code: 00453  
Little is known about Faber, except that he was a 17th century amateur musician. However, these three dance tunes are delightful pieces to serve as a basis for this short suite. The Waltz, Minuet and March all three call for independent rhythmic playing, and lie extremely well for string instruments. In addition to performance by three violins it is equally good for mixed string trios with optional parts for both viola and cello playing the 3rd part. It appears on both the B and C OMEA lists. In class B the trio must play all mvts, but in class C only two of them.

A Baroque Trio Suite - Buttstedt, Schleswig, Fischer/Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20712110  
Three movements by lesser known Baroque composers are included in this suite: Minuet, Sarabande and March. The first two are in G Major and the third in D Major. All parts can be played in first position and lie well for strings. However, all parts are rhythmically independent, offering challenges for younger players. Bowings and dynamics are well marked to assist in learning to play musically. The third part can also be played by viola, or cello with parts supplied.

Two Minuets - Bach/Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20712108  
Bach composed these two Minuets for piano for his wife Anna Magdalena. They are familiar to anyone who has played piano. The melodies are often performed as solos for developing players on any and all string instruments. This trio arrangement with its many varied options of instrumentation is a valuable addition to string ensemble literature. It can be performed as a violin trio, a trio for 2 violins and viola, or 2 violins and cello with all optional parts supplied and shown on the score. Both Minuets are in the key of G and may be played in first position. Duration is 3’30.”

Violin Quartets – new listing
Variations on a Scottish Air - arr .Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 50713001  
This old Scottish song became well known in our country during the 20th century being sung at New Years Eve celebrations. The simplicity of the melody, harmony and form make it easily adaptable for variations. Following the statement of the theme there are four contrasting variations (a Viennese waltz, a march, a melancholy ballad, and a jig). It is somewhat challenging, but fun to play, and a wonderful piece for concert, and community programs, or contest. Keys involved are C, G and D major and d minor. The viola is a good option for the 4th part.

Violin Quartets
Canzon - Scheidt/Hall
Difficulty: MD  OMEA Class: A  Publ. Code: 20713101  
This early Baroque Canzon is a technically and rhythmically challenging quartet for advanced players. It was originally written in the early 1600’s for trumpet quartet, but it adapts very well for violins in the key of D major. The contrapuntal make up of this early piece is really far ahead of its time. Bowings and dynamics have been supplied with great care to assist in achieving a uniform and satisfying performance. This is an outstanding addition to the ensemble literature for violin quartet by this highly regarded early German composer. A viola part is supplied as an alternate choice for the 4th violin part. Duration is about 3 minutes.

Amazing Grace and Other Hymn Tunes - Hall, arr.            Score sample
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 00438  
If there were a hit parade for hymn tunes, Amazing Grace would be at the top of the list, and this arrangement goes far beyond a simple harmonization. In addition the collection includes arrangements of 4 other familiar hymns. For OMEA contest use Amazing Grace can be performed alone, or any 2 of the other 4 can be chosen. Viola is an excellent option for the 4th violin part. Players and audiences will thoroughly enjoy these hymn tune settings. They are useful for concert, contest, church, community groups.

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring - Bach/Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 00476  
This well-known piece is based on a chorale by Johann Schop first published in 1642. Bach transformed it into a 4 part choral composition, devising an obligato melody that has become one of his most recognizable pieces. In this arrangement for violin quartet, the obligato melody is transferred from one part to another in the first three voices so that they can all enjoy the experience. The 4th part carries the bass line, which can also be played by viola. A similar arrangement is available for violin trio (00445).

Trumpet Voluntary -Clarke/Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00431  
This familiar processional march was attributed to Purcell until 1953 when an early manuscript was discovered revealing the composer to be Jeremiah Clarke, where he served as organist and choir master in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London around 1700. Parts are not difficult except for the fact that the first player must play in 3rd position in order to negotiate the trills, which have been notated for clarity. It lies very well for strings in the key of D major. Optional viola parts are provided for both the 3rd and 4th parts, and there is also a string quartet version available (00472).

“OMEA Class” refers to the assigned difficulty rating on the Ohio Music Educators Association Required List.

Sound samples are provided for some of the arrangements on this site. These are produced as MP3 files, with links noted after those arrangements for which they are available. Many also provide a "short MP3" alternative for those with slower, dial-up connections. While all sound samples are fairly compact, the shorter versions will typically download four to five times faster than their fuller counterparts.

Score samples are also provided for some arrangements. These show the first page (and sometimes several pages) of the score, and are provided in PDF format. You will need to have the Adobe Reader installed to be able to read these files. If you are unsure if you have this capability, click on a score link and see what happens. If you cannot read the file, a free version of the Adobe Reader is available at www.adobe.com.


How to order:   Published music can be purchased from any reputable music dealer, including the following:
Stanton's Sheet Music, 330 S. Fourth St., Columbus, OH 43215, phone 1-800-42MUSIC.
Rettig Music, Inc., Defiance / Lima / Toledo / Westlake, phone 1-800-52MUSIC.


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