Thursday, March 15, 2007

Downloading Mark O'Connor's Appalachia Waltz

Very cool - I have been curious for some years to see the written music for fiddler Mark O'Connor's lovely Appalachia Waltz - the piece that he, Yo Yo Ma, and Edgar Meyer performed so successfully back in their bluegrass interlude in the 1990s. You can listen to a snippet of Yo Yo Ma performing it as a solo piece, here. So I went to Mark O'Connor's homepage and purchased the score, downloadable as a pdf file, for $4.00. I got the solo cello version - the one Yo-Yo Ma plays as an encore frequently at concerts. It is filled with a dismaying number of double stops, runs fairly high, and I'm not sure if I'm really up to tackling it. Nonetheless, I am pleased to have the score.

(PS. I have been listening to the trio version O'Connor has recorded for fiddle, viola, and cello, snippet here, and I like it a lot. It is quite playable for intermediate players in all instruments. Funny, I admit I have rarely paid much attention to viola - I tend to dismiss it as the thing between the violin and the cello - but in this recording, the viola carries a lot of the weight of the piece, and I found myself very much in love with the timbre of the viola. It is also available in sheet music downloadable at O'Connor's homepage.)

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