Various Airs

Original tunes for two violins

Appalachian Fiddler by Martin Prochnik

A series of four pieces inspired by folk music.

This composition is directly inspired by reels of popular folk music. That is due to the fact that a member of my local assembly, Lucas Bouchard, was learning to master the violin by practicing with that type of air. It then came to my mind to compose a few to be able to play as I accompanied him. For that reason, this opus almost got the name of Varia Lucas, but that plan didn’t work since the difficulty was not adapted to the occasion.

Tempo de rigaudon


The first movement, an Allegro, resembles a breakdown, although it doesn’t have that form. From measures ten to seventeen, the second violin plays a couple of long notes which recall a hornpipe, and which, for me, represent a typical element of the folk genre. I also had as an example for that the Muiniera of Sarasate, Op. 32, which begins in the same manner.

Assez vif


The second movement belongs to a style on which I can’t exactly put my finger, but that seems North-European, for a reason I can’t express. It is built on an energetic motif which explores the semi-high sounds of the violin.



The third movement begins by a Vivace, continues with an Allegro, and then ends with the Vivace of the beginning. The two voices often exchange the melody, which makes them both indispensable. Of all the movements, that one is the most lyrical, that style being reinforced by a canon at the beginning.

Allegro vivace

fugato canonistique


Of the four movements, this one is at once the most difficult and the most polyphonic. It is also probably the most masterful and my favourite of them all.

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