Dunja Lavrova

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Vinyl Gems of Violin

Introducing "Vinyl Gems of Violin" programme:

This programme is an idea to recreate the unique experience and magical atmosphere of the legendary musical gatherings (also known as “soirees”) of the early part of 20th century, where the great violinists like Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz performed their favourite short pieces for violin and piano. 

In this programme Dunja will be reintroducing some of the long-forgotten out-of-print scores popular both among the violinists and the audiences at the turn of 20th century - the so-called Golden Age of Violin era. 

Dunja hopes to perform this programme at venues which would recreate a special, intimate environment of such informal gatherings. She will be narrating the recitals with stories and anecdotes from that period and familiarising the audience with the history behind the less familiar scores.

The programme primarily focuses on out-of-print, forgotten or even simply neglected scores of miniature pieces. There will be various familiar music in a less-familiar arrangement form for violin and piano (such as Chopin’s Nocturnes, “Sheherazade”, violin solos from Tchaikovsky’s famous ballets and other popular orchestral works), as well as original works by lesser-known romantic composers and arrangements of jazz and popular songs of the Silver Screen period.

Dunja is honoured to be collaborating with Carl Fischer Music - the legendary music publishers based in America who have published thousands of compositions since 1872, including most of J.Heifetz's still-popular arrangements. It is through this collaboration Dunja has gained access to many of those special, yet long-forgotten miniatures which will be included in this programme. 

This is also a fantastic opportunity to bring some of the scores from U.S. which might have not been heard in the U.K. yet. More recently, Carl Fischer Music asked Dunja to become an editor of one of their archived scores which they wish to re-publish and which will also be included in the programme.

For a few decades now, miniature have mainly been playing an “encore” role in the modern violinist’s repertoire, but Dunja feels that they deserve substantially more credit and really enjoys performing her all-miniature recitals entirely from memory. 

She strongly believes that a listener with any kind of background would be able to relate to these short pieces, which contain entire stories inside just 3-5 minutes of playing time, thus helping to breach the boarders between classical music and general public.

This type of exciting and original programme, especially if it is presented at un-usual venues, could draw in new audiences but also satisfy the more experienced ears with many new discoveries and re-discoveries.

A lot of the music included in this programme hasn’t been heard for decades and can only be found on historic records, which is the reason why Dunja has nicknamed it "Vinyl Gems of Violin”.

Below you can find some examples of the "Vinyl Gems" from Dunja's selection for this project:

G. Catoire - "Elegy":

S. Foster/ arr. J.Heifetz - "Old Folks At Home":

C. Debussy/ arr. J. Heifetz - "L'apres-midi d'une Faune"

F.K.Logan/ arr. F.Kreisler - "Pale Moon":

E. Hallfter / arr.  J.Heifetz "Danza de la Gitana"

I. Albeniz / arr. F. Kreisler "Tango" op. 165: