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Violin and Viola Trios and Quartets

String Trios for Two Violins and Viola - 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.

String Trios for Two Violins and Viola
Irish Air and Dance - Hall, arr.
Difficulty: MD  OMEA Class: A  Publ. Code: 20712105  
These two familiar Irish tunes for 2 violins and viola(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.” It May also be performed as a violin trio.

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 viola or for 3rd violin. 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).

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 a successful performance of this wonderful piece for 2 violins and viola by Handel. Parts are independent rhythmically. Duration is 3’45.” It may also be performed by violin trio.

Sea Chanteys - American Sea Chanties/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.” The trio is for 2 violins and viola, but may also be performed by violin trio.

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 viola plays the 3rd part which can also be played by violin, or by cello giving 3 options of instrumentation.

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 2 violins and viola, and equally well for violin trio. 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 2 violins and viola, it is equally good forviolin trio, or for 2 violins and cello. 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 cello. or by 3rd violin. Optional parts are supplied.

Two Minuets - Bach/Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20712108  
Bach composed theseTwo 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.”

Mixed String Quartets for Three Violins and Viola
All of the listed Violin Quartets have optional viola parts for 4th Violin.            short MP3            
   


“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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