Ceilidh, Op. 29/I

scoring: four violins

movements:

Gathering
Dordfiansa (spear clashing dance)
Night
Four-Hand Reel

duration: 10'

composed: 1976

dedication: for Krysia Osostowicz, Ming-Feng Hsin, Colin Twigg and Ralph de Souza

commissioned: by the Yehudi Menuhin School for their visit to the United States as part of the Bicentennial Celebrations, with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain.

published: Novello

status: available for performance


performances:

5 July 1976, Baird Auditorium, Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC

8 July 1976, British Embassy, Washington DC (at a banquet for President Ford, hosted by the Queen)

11 July 1976, QEH - UK premiere.

All of the above were given by students of the Yehudi Menuhin School: Krystyna Osostowicz, Ming-Feng Hsin, Colin Twigg and Ralph de Souza.

recordings:

Smithsonian Institute holds a recording of the performance which took place there.


programme note:

Ceilidh for four violins was commissioned by the Yehudi Menuhin School with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain.

The Gaelic word ceilidh (pronounced 'kali’) means 'a visit' and is used to describe the traditional practice of music-making, with its emphasis upon contrasted items involving singing, dancing, and instrumental performance of considerable virtuosity in which the violin takes an important part. In remote times the practice of music was also associated with military occasions, and there exist accounts of spear-clashing dances very like those of the ancient Greeks, although none of the music has survived for these.

The work is in four sections which play without a break: Gathering, Dordfiansa (spear-clashing dance), Night, and Four-hand Reel; only the last contains any overt reference to folk material.

Ceilidh was commissioned for the School's visit to the United States of America as part of the Bicentennial Celebrations. It is dedicated to the players.

JRC

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other comments:


sources:

Special thanks to Deborah Shapiro, Archivist (Reference), Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Lilas Wiltshire, "Menuhin's Violin Students Play to Full House in MNH", The Smithsonian Torch, No. 76-7, August 1976, page 2

Thanks also to Ralph de Souza for further information.

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