Four Strings Around the World

Four Strings Around the World


Artist: Irina Muresanu

Composers: Johann Sebastian Bach, George Enescu, Dave Flynn, Shirish Korde, Fritz Kreisler, Mark O'Connor, Niccolò Paganini, Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, Astor Piazzolla, Bright Sheng, Reza Vali

Format: 1 CD


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Program Notes by Irina Muresanu:

It all started when I tackled Mark O’Connor’s “Cricket Dance.” It is a short, straightforward tune that requires the skills of an intermediate player, and yet it took me an absurdly long time to learn. To put things in context: I was capable of learning whole violin concertos in a matter of weeks, so why was the O’Connor piece so hard to get under my fingers? Could it have been because it was written in a musical style completely different than my classical training? And if so, how many more different languages were there outside of the traditional/standard repertoire? With this idea, I started my exploration of works reflecting the ways the violin (including its ancestors and relatives) is employed in musical settings worldwide. What resulted is Four Strings Around the World, a celebration of diverse cultures refracted through the unifying voice of solo violin, a project which immersed me in sounds and colors I didn’t even realize could be produced by my own instrument.

I thought it fitting to start the journey in Romania, my native country, and end it in the United States, where I now live, work and have a family. Scouting for solo violin works inspired by Persian, Irish and Chinese folklore was not an easy feat, but I was fortunate to discover eminent composers such as Reza Vali, Dave Flynn, and Bright Sheng, who draw inspiration from the music of their own nations. I was afraid I had hit a dead-end when my research didn’t turn up any pieces inspired by Indian music (inherently improvisational) or Native American music. But then it dawned on me that this was the perfect opportunity to commission and enrich the solo violin repertoire. I am therefore forever grateful to composers Shirish Korde and Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, who wrote for me pieces inspired by, respectively, Indian ragas and a Native American hymn. 

To stay true to my own roots, I built the program around two summits of the violin repertoire, iconic pieces that I felt could not be omitted from this recording: the Paganini 24th Caprice and the Bach Chaconne. Kreisler’s “Recitativo and Scherzo” embodies the inimitable Viennese spirit and was suggested to me by my beloved teacher, Michèle Auclair many years ago. I have been playing it ever since and it is my homage to her legacy. 

Putting this program together and bringing it to life has been a considerable challenge requiring a steep learning curve. But I have had the time of my life. 

Thank you for joining me in this musical journey!

Track List

George Enescu
Airs in Romanian Folk Style
1 I. Moderato (molto rubato) 2:59
2 II. Allegro guisto 1:47
3 III. Andante 2:12
4 IV. Allegro giocoso 1:52

Dave Flynn
5 Tar Éis an Caoineadh' 8:14

Niccolò Paganini
6 Caprice No. 24 4:58 

Fritz Kreisler
7 Recitativo and Scherzo, Op. 6 4:55

Johann Sebastian Bach
8 Ciaccona from the Partita in D minor, BWV 1004 14:08

Reza Vali
9 Calligraphy No. 5 6:36

Shires Korde
10 I. Alap 4:25
11 II. Jor 2:23
12 III. Jhalla 3:27 

Bright Sheng
13 The Stream Flows: II 4:23 

Astor Piazzolla
14 Tango Étude No. 3 3:39 

Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate
15 Oshta (Four) 8:31

Mark O’Connor
16 The Cricket Dance 1:52

Total time: 76:10
Release date: April 27, 2018
UPC: 053479222121

Quotes & Reviews

Irina Muresanu An Extraordinary Violinist

…Irina Muresanu convinces us there’s simply nothing in this world she cannot play.

Rafael de Acha, Rafael’s Music Notes

…her new CD should enhance her reputation and win many new fans…

Greg Hettmansberger, WhatGregSays

Muresanu’s well recorded, passport-less adventures deserve reward.

Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International

…quite stunning solo CD…one of the best solo CDs I’ve heard.

Terry Robbins, TheWholeNote

On all levels, a very impressive release.

Lisa MacKinney, Limelight

irresistible…not just a virtuoso but an artist
— The Boston Globe
On all levels, a very impressive release.
— Lisa MacKinney, Limelight

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