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Michael Fine

For a Friend-Lina Vartanova, Ekaterina Ayzenshtadt

Release Date: August 18, 2023

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Michael Fine releases ‘For a Friend’ featuring: Lina Vartanova, Ekaterina Ayzenshtadt

One of the greatest joys of composing music is creating something special for a friend, with their unique sound and artistic sensibilities in mind. Everyone who subsequently plays the piece contributes their own personal vision to music originally conceived for a specific person. In this case, the dedicatee is Lina Vartanova, an amazing Armenian violinist whom I met while recording with the Russian National Orchestra where she lead the 2nd violins. She was extremely helpful both with her positive leadership and musicality in these very demanding sessions, playing a leading role in helping us get the best results. I listened to several recordings of her in solo and chamber music repertoire with great pleasure and with her agreement decided to write a piece for her as a thank you and gesture of friendship. There is no officially recognised musical genre or style called 'quirkily tonal' but that is how this music works, with hints of the Romantic Period as it leans into the early 20th century. The piece is in four distinct sections: the first (Moderato assai) opens with a broad theme played by piano; the violin joins taking over the theme but then shifts between extroverted virtuosity and introspective moments. The second movement, a Scherzo has an appropriate scherzando character with quick and hopefully witty rhythms and some old-fashioned American walking bass lines in the piano. A Lullaby - gently rocking - follows. It is perhaps my favorite music in the piece. (Yes, composers have favourite moments in their own music.) 'For a Friend' concludes with a traditionally quick and challenging last movement though a hint of the lullaby returns before the rapid conclusion……….

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