Composer: Maria-Theresia von Paradis (1759-1824)
Duration: a. 3 minutes
Instrumentation: Brass Quintet
In 1924, Schott published a “Sicilienne” credited to the blind eighteenth-century keyboard virtuoso Maria Theresia von Paradis (1759-1824) as “revised and edited” by violinist Samuel Dushkin. Dushkin claimed that he had discovered this piece as a keyboard work, and had recast it for violin and piano. However, no such work survives among primary manuscript sources for von Paradis, and it is fairly certain that Dushkin composed this little violin encore himself. The doubtful pedigree of the Sicilienne has hardly prevented its popularity; it has a generous, graceful and arching melodic line which shifts gently from major to minor over a simple, cradle-song rocking accompaniment. Violinists often program it as an encore, or in the middle of a concert which is made up of longer, more ambitious pieces; the Sicilienne provides a break for the ears. But it also pays off in musical satisfaction. Nathan Milstein made a famous recording of the Sicilienne in the 1950s, and the popularity of the melody has since leant itself to rearrangement on other instruments.
This version would be perfect for ‘light classical’ music concerts or even background events.
Trumpet and Piano Performance: