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The works of Paul Pellay have been performed all over the world by a wide range of artists including the Kreutzer Quartet, the Nash Ensemble, the City of London Sinfonia, and the Britten Sinfonia. Conductors who have championed his music include Edward Gregson, Elgar Howarth, Lionel Friend, Richard Hickox, Nicholas Cleobury, Roger Smalley, Ron Spigelman and Alan Balter. He has been active as a freelance music editor, working with various composers and publishers.
Whilst the title reflects the difficulties of performing this mammoth work for solo violin, it does not convey the listening experience, which is less challenging than one might expect - indeed many sections of the work are quite lyrical and full of wit as well as virtuosic complexity. Performed with his usual panache and awesome skill by Peter Sheppard Skærved.
Peter Sheppard Skærved is the dedicatee of well over 200 works for solo violin, by composers such as George Rochberg, Judith Weir, Michael Finnissy, Paul Ruders, and Hans Werner Henze. He regularly appears as soloist in over 30 countries. His discography is extensive, ranging from cycles of solo works by Beethoven, Reicha, Cui, and Telemann, the complete quartets of David Matthews, Michael Tippett, and cycles of concerti from Haydn to Henze. He is particularly noted for his performances of Tartini’s 30 solo sonatas, and for his one-evening performances of the Bach Sonatas & Partitas.
Paul Pellay: Thesaurus of Violinistic Fiendishness, Book 1
No. 1. Riding the Comet's Tail
No. 2. Consolazione per Condoleezza
No. 3. Running on Eggshells
No. 4. Rag-Caprice, "Triple-A"
No. 5. Past Silence's Dusk
No. 6. The Warmonger's Hoe-down
Paul Pellay: Thesaurus of Violinistic Fiendishness, Book 2, "Black Studies"
No. 1. Sabbath Rounds (El Gran Cabron)
No. 2. Masks of the Ancients (Dos viejos comiendo)
No. 3. … a bludgeoning, drowning hatred … (Duelo a garrotazos)
No. 4. Canine Arabesques (Un perro)
No. 5. Saeta Sbronza! (Peregrinacion a la fuente de San Isidro)
No. 6. Flight to Asmodeus (La Vision Fantasti ca)
No. 7. Suspended in the Hands of Destiny (El Desti no Atropos o Las Parcas)
No. 8. Cannibal Planet (Saturno devorando a un hijo)
Paul Pellay: Thesaurus of Violinistic Fiendishness, Book 3, "Mid-South Recollections"
No. 1. Reelfoot Echoes
No. 2. Shimmying with Zeus
No. 3. … as glass parti cles descend …
No. 4. The feathered deity flew below
No. 5. Skullbone Skerzo
No. 6. Morpheus in Milan (TN)
Paul Pellay: Thesaurus of Violinistic Fiendishness, Book 4
Invenzione a due voci
Intermezzo - Elegia
Finale: Valse scherzo
Paul Pellay: Thesaurus of Violinistic Fiendishness, Book 5, "Sereno, polittico ungarettiano"
No. 1. Dopo tanta nebbia
No. 2. A una a una si svelano le stelle
No. 3. Respiro il fresco che mi lascia il colore del cielo
No. 4. Mi riconosco immagine passeggera
No. 5. Persa in un giro immortale
Paul Pellay: Thesaurus of Violinistic Fiendishness, Book 6, "Con(Di)vergences"
Intenso - Calmandosi
Focoso e precisissimo
Come in punta di peidi
TEMA (META), Tempo giusto
Paul Pellay: Thesaurus of Violinistic Fiendishness, Book 7
No. 1. Marcia triunfal de Diablo Tejano (para I. Str.)