Leaning Toward the Fiddler CD item
LEANING TOWARD THE FIDDLER is a recording of original works by Seattle-based violinist and singer Hope Wechkin, which also includes her inventive arrangements of traditional Balkan folk songs. Wechkin’s virtuosic and innovative pairing of voice and violin—which she performs simultaneously—fuses folk, classical, and world music into a blend of genres that emerges “full-bore, all-out, utterly unselfconsciously” (Seattle Times). The works on LEANING TOWARD THE FIDDLER range from themes of passionate longing to humorous musical feuds between lovers, highlighting Wechkin’s ability to perform in a wide breadth of styles with great ease and skill.
Use Mujo Kuje and third track last and final.
Nobody MoveSelf-hosted audio playerListenLoading Player
Miss KittenSelf-hosted audio playerListenLoading Player
Return Of The Spooky DriverSelf-hosted audio playerListenLoading Player
On the Downbeat (feat. Bing Crosby)Self-hosted audio playerListenLoading Player
Ladies And Gentleman (House Mix)Self-hosted audio playerListenLoading Player
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Mujo Kuje is a Bosnian folk song that is described as a “sevdah,” a type of folk music originating in the regions of Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, and Serbia that is characterized by themes of passionate longing. In my arrangement for voice and violin, both “voices” share equally in the melancholy of unrequited love.
A JOYFUL TIME
Lisa Sitkin’s A Joyful Time borrows from the sometimes fantastical stories a friend’s Grandma Pearl told about growing up on the Lower East Side in New York City.
LAST AND FINAL
An up-tempo melody for solo “fiddle,” Last and Final conjures up an elderly man’s dream of one last spirited dance on earth.
POLEGNALA E TUDORA
Polegnala e Tudora was made famous by conductor and arranger Philip Koutev and the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir, who recorded this folk song to great acclaim in the 1980s. In my arrangement, the violin provides a double-stopped two-part harmony to the solo vocal line. Between the third and fourth verses, the “voice of the wind,” in wordless syllables, is heard as a vocalise with the violin as accompaniment.
The central melody of Duet for voice and violin is based on a Russian folk song named for the woman being addressed in the first line, Koloda Duda. The text of this song appeared in Sholokov’s novel “And Quiet Flows the Don.” Pete Seeger adapted the text for his version of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” I heard the Russian version sung by Theodore Bikel when I was a child, and the melody has stayed with me ever since. In my setting, voice and violin are equal partners, trading melody and accompaniment, becoming intertwined, and finally resolving with the solo vocal recapitulation of the original melody.