composition

Mikrokosmos

for Violin and Piano

  • Genre
    Chamber
  • Commissioned by/written for
    David Fülöp
  • Year completed
    1998
  • Year revised
  • Timing
    24:00
  • Catalog number
    163
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  • known performances
  • General notes
    Written for the young son of my friend and record colleague, Péter Fülöp.
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Mikrokosmos, my first pedagogical work, is obviously named after the work by the Hungarian master, Béla Bartók, whose Mikrokosmos in six volumes has served to train several generations of pianists. I wrote my work, not so much modeled after the work the name of which I have borrowed, but as a tribute to the record business of the same name run by my Hungarian friend and colleague, Péter Fülöp. The work was written for and dedicated to Péter's youngest son Dávid, who studied the violin for several years in the late 1990s. Because of the heritage of the dedicatee, who was named after me, this series of concert pieces has been written largely in Hungarian style. Thus, it is this particular connection between the Fülöp and Canfield families also explains the Hungarian titles of the movements of this pedagogical work. These titles were corrected (and in some cases supplied) by Péter Fülöp, since my knowledge of that language is exceedingly minimal. My violin-teaching friend, Juli Enzinger kindly edited the work, and rearranged the order of the movements to better reflect a consistent and logical increase in difficulty level from one piece to the next. Additionally, the tune of no. 16, "Phony Hungarian Folksong," was composed by James Nicholas, and simply harmonized and arranged by me. The listener will note that the tune of the last piece fits the Hungarian phrase, "Boldog új évet kívánok," (Happy New Year) although there are no words written to attend the rest of the piece.

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