Diabolical Dances (2006)

Jasper Wood, violin; David Riley, piano
Albany Records

Program Note for Diabolical Dances (2006)

Diabolical Dances was the third commission from Jasper and Dave. For this work, they wanted me to compose a short showpiece. I decided to compose something that would be technically demanding for both the violinist and the pianist. When thinking about a title for this work, I felt Diabolical Dances was fitting. I chose this title as a reference to the tradition associated with the violin and the devil, such as the legend of Paganini’s supposed pact with the Devil in exchange for his phenomenal technique, as well as in such works as Tartini’s famous Devil’s Trill Sonata, Stravinksy’s Soldier’s Tale, and even the song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”.

The work was premiered at Hillsdale College in the fall of 2006. At the time I was still living in New York City and had never entertained the thought of living anywhere else. I never would have guessed that two years later I would move to Hillsdale, MI to start my collegiate teaching career at the college.

See the score.

Diabolical Dances Full Score and Parts