Jason Eckardt

Score and Part(s)
Performing Ensemble: Violin with Piano
Instrumentation: Violin, Piano
Item Number: B3450
Number of Pages: 30 + 10
Publisher: Carl Fischer Music
Print Status: Custom Print, 4-5 days


Quick Overview

When I was first approached by Miranda Cuckson for a new work to be recorded alongside Elliott Carter’s Duo (a formidable piece I’ve long prized for its austerity) and Roger Sessions’ Sonata (a work that I became familiar with upon this occasion) I immediately began to think about how a new composition could compliment those by my respected predecessors: Sessions’ robust yet sophisticated music and Carter’s multivalent temporal and contrapuntal designs fused with humanity and wit. With this in mind I turned to a fragment of music dating from 2007, seventeen measures that were written as a gift for my dear friends Per and Karin von Zelowitz, a Swedish-American couple who were celebrating their wedding. This occasional piece, a short violin solo, now reimagined as the beginning of a larger work, with its eight-part rotational pitch canon, seemed to speak to Carter’s penchant for stratification. The newly-composed piano part attempted to embody the muscularity and melodic inventiveness found in Sessions’ piece. However, it was my admiration for Miranda and Blair and my love for Per, Karin, and their children Gustav and Astrid that ultimately inspired the creation of my composition. The title is taken from the Swedish folk tradition and may be traced to Norse mythology. Strömkarl — also known as Näcken and immortalized in the E.J. Stagnelius poem of the same title — is a solitary creature that lives in a stream or waterfall and plays the violin either to delight or tempt any humans who encounter him. While accounts vary with regard to his malevolence, all agree that his instrumental skill is such that even inanimate objects begin to dance upon hearing him play.

Strömkarl was commissioned by Gene Gaudette for Miranda Cuckson who recorded the work, along with Blair McMillen, for Urlicht Audiovisual.

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  • Strömkarl

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by Gene Gaudette and Urlicht Audiovisual for Miranda Cuckson
Composition Date 2012