Wallachian Lament arranged by Apollo Chamber Players. For String Quartet. Classical Period, Folk Music, World. Advanced Intermediate. Set of Parts, Score. Apollo CP #001. Published by Apollo CP (S0.12697).
This traditional Bohemian folk song hails from the Moravian Wallachia region of the Czech Republic; it is a combination of whirling dance songs and 'hollering songs' used for communication by children and women while herding cattle and horses. Apollo's arrangement of this (originally unnamed) folk song depicts the sorrowful wailings of a peasant. The opening lament-laden tune soon subsides, however, evolving into a gradually propelling Slavic dance. After a quick change in mode and mood, Wallachian Lament ends raucously in an upbeat fiddle-tune romp. Mimicking the sounds of traditional Czech instruments (cimbalom, bagpipes, pipes/flutes/recorders, and a 'squeaking fiddle' violin cousin) was an enjoyable challenge; indeed, the colors and virtuosic capabilities of a string quartet evoke the originals compellingly and add a novel perspective to this folk song gem. The composer Leos Janacek affection for the ethnic music of his Czech homeland deeply influenced his lifelong compositional pursuits, and it instilled in his musical voice a depth of emotion unique among classically-trained composers. The forceful, angular dotted-rhythmic figures and the interpretive rhythmic 'lilt' of the melodies imbue Wallachian Lament with an unmistakeable Czech character. Featured in Apollo's album, 'EUROPEAN FOLKSCAPES,' available on Navona Records.www.navonarecords.comwww.apollochamberplayers.org.
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