Straightman & Jokester (homage à Fritz Kreisler)

    Philip Wharton, violin
    ca. 5 minutes

Straightman & Jokester is from Bravo, Encore!, the third set of Opus Homage — a series of twelve pieces commemorating the great composers for the violin. Rather than imitating each composer, I took inspiration from qualities of their music and then composed in my own style. This set doffs its hat to the writers of encores and show pieces — or flash trash as I affectionately call them. These pieces astound audiences with their daring and bravura.

Fritz Kreisler wrote some of the most entertaining show pieces. Many of his pieces are like the dinner mints after a good meal — exactly right for the occasion. I modeled Straightman & Jokester on Kreisler’s Recitativo e Scherzo capriccio. Both his and my pieces are for solo violin, begin with a brooding meditative section followed by a rollicking display of virtuosity.