Basic Ragtime

Michael Finnissy
Score and parts
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Basic Ragtime is a collection of short movements for a small group of string players and piano. I collected them together at the request of Rodney Lister, for a performance at the New England Conservatorium in Boston. Numbers II, III, VI, and VII had been written, or sketched, some years previously as gifts for the dedicatees, and their names - in cipher - provided some of the pitch material. This procedure was also followed in number V, but not in the other sections, which draw material from works already familiar to the students: the second of the Dvorak Bagatelles Op.47 and the first movement of Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik KV 525. I added number VIII in 2013 in memory of Richard Rodney Bennett.
Scott Joplin's injunction 'not to play ragtime too fast' is also to be followed here. The resultant sound-world should seem elegant and sedate rather than raucous in its rhythmic swing; the textures translucent, quite Chopinesque for the piano.

Additional Information

Item Number: 9780193388994
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 64
Duration: 17 Mins
Publication Date: 21/01/2016
Format: 297x210
Force: 3 violins, cello, piano (violin 3 is in mvmt IV only)
Level of difficulty: C

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