Funny variations on “Happy Birthday”, for violin and piano by Aleksey Igudesman. Great in a concert for intermediate students where someone needs surprising!
Aleksey Igudesman might reasonably be described as a modern day Victor Borge. With his cabaret partner, Hyung-ki Joo, he has toured concert halls all over the world, wringing all that is humorous out of classical music with just the basic tools of violin and piano. The “Happy Birthday Variations” for violin and piano are dedicated to his good friend, the late Sir Roger Moore and are typical of Igudesman’s brand of humour. They take the internationally known musical greeting on a world-wide tour, from a Viennese Waltz, through a Big Band number, a Bulgarian Vivace in 7/8, a Russian Presto, a Tango and an Alpine Air to conclude in a Paganini-esque finale that’s not quite as difficult as it looks.
A great concert showpiece for intermediate students, not least if someone in the audience is celebrating a special day! Or, if the teacher prefers to play the violin, Igudesman’s “The Soloist’s Ultimate Happy Birthday” (UE37199) does a different but equally funny job for violin duet.
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