Rondeau – Chocuna (solo viola version)

for solo viola

Brian Inglis

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for solo viola

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Composer Brian Inglis
Year of Composition 1991
Duration 5'30"
ISMN 9790570684007


Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-bi1rc3


Rondeau-Chocuna is, as the title suggests, a combination of two formal models, encased within an introduction and coda. The ‘rondeau’ part of the title refers to the medieval verse form, whose intricate patterns of repetition of words and music in different combinations inform aspects of the structure; the ‘chocuna’ part is the Basque word for ‘pretty’ which is also the root of ‘chaconne’. The music responds to the expressive challenges of Bach’s D minor solo violin chaconne, and its re-imagining in Berio’s Sequenza VI for solo viola (1967), whilst also incorporating the spirit of the dance. The material is laid out like a palimpsest, with on one level a simple rondo with a refrain (which has the character of the medieval stamping-dance known as the ‘Estampie’) and two episodes.

Originally conceived for viola, the piece was premiered in that form by Paul Silverthorne at Durham University in January 1991.

A version for violin from 1994 is also available.

Excerpt from live recording (Lesley Hatfield, Queen’s University Belfast, 1997)