This program follows various fiddling traditions, on bowed instruments such as the violin, or a few other instruments based on similar principles. L. Shankar plays a bowed Indian instrument of his own invention, the erhu is easily summarized as a Chinese violin, and the string bass is descended from the viol, the direct ancestor of the European violin. And by coincidence or design, the plucked mandolin is tuned to the same notes as the violin, encouraging a number of crossover performers.
Among the classical violinists, Pichas Zukerman shares the contemporary Ashokan Farewell (composed for Ken Burns's TV miniseries, The Civil War) with Mark O'Connor, in an American folk style. Tzigane was Ravel's reaction to gypsy fiddling that the Hungarian virtuoso Jelly d'Arányi demonstrated. Sarasate's Muiñiera has an Iberian-Basque underpinning, but its drone notes could have come straight from the Scottish highlands.
The program concludes with fiddle and string bass used as background to contemporary country/folk songs by Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Jay Ungar: Ashokan Farewell (CD: Heroes) (Mark O'Connor, Pinchas Zukerman, violins) Nomad (Mark O'Connor, violin; L. Shankar, 10-string double-neck violin) Jarrad Powell: Gending Erhu (CD: Trance Gong) (Warren Chang, erhu; Gamelan Pacifica) Maurice Ravel: Tzigane (CD: Franck/Saint-Saëns (Gil Shaham, violin; Sonatas; Ravel Tzigane) Gerhard Oppitz, piano) Pablo de Sarasate: Muiñiera (CD: Homage to Pablo (Rachel Barton, violin; Sarasate) Samuel Sanders, piano) Edgar Meyer: Winter's Chill (CD: Modern Mandolin (Edgar Meyer, double bass; Quartet: Nutcracker Modern Mandolin Quartet) Suite) Mark O'Connor: String Quartet (CD: The Fiddle (Mark O'Connor, violin; Daniel Concerto) Phillips, viola; Carter Brey, 'cello; Edgar Meyer, bass) Halley Came to Jackson (CD: Shooting Straight (Mary Chapin Carpenter; in the Dark) Mark O'Connor, fiddle) I am a Town (CD: Come On Come On) (Mary Chapin Carpenter; Edgar Meyer, double bass)
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