Fini Henriques : Treasures for violin and guitar arranged by the Brusch –Svit duo
Fini Henriques / Finn Elias Svit /Jochen Brusch
Bergmann Edition: score and separate parts (16, 8 and 11 pages respectively)
Valdemar Fini Henriques was a Danish violinist /composer (1867- 1940) whose works were very popular in his lifetime and were considered warm and welcoming , and indeed he wrote symphonies , ballets , chamber works, and works for stage to name but a few. However he did write a considerable amount for his beloved violin, and here are three of them, cleverly arranged for guitar and violin by the duo Finn Elias Svit, who arranged the guitar parts, and Jochen Brusch who provided the violin fingerings.
The Lullaby that opens the book is available to watch in a performance by the duo on YouTube and is a fine opener, set in E Major, with a lovely inviting little melody and some nicely arranged harmonies on the guitar accompaniment.
Dance of the Mosquitos (Op20 No5) is much livelier, is set in Bm, and has the violin skittering along in staccato semiquavers , while the guitar plays a longer noted, but equally interesting accompaniment to the mosquitos on the violin part, that never lets up for a second and so needs a very good player!
However the real fireworks are left for the final work, The Devil’s Dance, which is marked Presto, and the violin part for which is full of very small notes that dive constantly around the fingerboard, replete with harmonics in a number of places whilst the guitarist is usually playing a bass note/chord alternation that is often called Um- Ching by many players.! There are some moments when the guitar plays longer chords and a small number of runs, but the rest of the time it is definitely playing 2nd fiddle to the violin (no pun intended!)
Altogether this does need two good players, with the violinist particularly having an exacting part in much of this set) but it is true to say that if this repertoire is not known to you, then it really is a lovely trio of pieces that many will enjoy playing or listening to, and it just makes me wonder how much more by this composer is out there for us to enjoy?