Six Morceaux for Violin & Piano, Op.85
Generally speaking, if anyone has heard any piece of Joachim Raff, it's his famous Cavatina, the third of his Six Morceaux for Violin & Piano. It became so famous that it has been made into dozens of different arrangements. It has been and is sold alone. Sadly, all but one of the other five little gems, which make up the collection, have disappeared and are out of print. While it is true that the melody of Raff's "Famous Cavatina" is a glorious creation, we think you will agree that these other five are wonderful too.
Joachim Raff (1822-1882) was regularly mentioned in the same breath as Wagner, Liszt, and Brahms as one of Germany's leading composers. All of the critical commentaries which appeared during those years spoke of him as an equal to them. Incredibly, by the 1920's his music had all but disappeared from the concert stage. It seems virtually unimaginable that a composer whose talent was recognized and whose music was admired by Mendelssohn and Liszt, could become a mere footnote, yet this is what became of Raff and his music for most of the 20th century. Only now is he being rediscovered to the delight of those fortunate enough to hear his music.
The Six Morceaux date from 1862, just as Raff was entering his period of greatest creativity. In these relatively short pieces he set himself a specific goal: To create archetypal examples of specific musical forms. He chose six: The March, the Pastorale, the Cavatina, the Scherzo, the Canzona (a short lyrical poem) and the Tarantella. Each little piece is elaborated with formal perfection that serves only the purpose of creating an perfect example. The Marcia and Scherzino are brilliant and faithful examples of their forms. In the Pastorale, Raff wonderfully evokes the quiet and peaceful mood of the idyll, which, of course, is the language of the Pastorale. The Cavatina's two melodies are marvelous, the second with its heroic intensity, has never failed to move its listeners. The Canzona is every bit as convincing and surely deserved to become as famous as the Cavatina. Who can say why it did not happen? The last piece, Tarantella, is a tour d'force, brilliantly portraying the whirling energy of the Italian dance form.
The Cavatina has always been available from many different publishers, and, it is still possible, though difficult, to obtain the Canzona. The entire collection of the Six Morceaux has been unavailable for many years now. We are pleased to offer all six for little more than you would pay just to obtain the Canzona or the Cavatina.