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Končić, Ivan: Neverland Études, Five Études for Violin

Neverland Études, Five Études for Violin
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There are five études for violin, adapted for the categories of the competition, and the compositional process was based on describing the most celebrated characters from the pen of Sir James Matthew Barrie. I would say that this collection is part of my series of compositions based on non-musical content, which initially served only as an inspiration to find characters or the direction of the compositions, and then this content completely takes over the drama of these compositions during the compositional process.
From the gentle Wendy, adapted for the youngest, playful and brave Peter and his lost boys, Hook and his Pirates who enjoy rattling their swords and the omnipresent, fast Tinker Bell, the main motifs in the Neverland Études are descriptively linked to their title characters so that each represents a specific technical problem on the violin that the performer has to master. Playing legato over the string, ricochet, left or right-hand pizzicato, quick changes of position, flageolet tones, multiple stops, col legno or bartok pizzicato are techniques known to experienced professionals, but the future professionals might see these techniques for the first time on these pages.
Consultations with Prof. Nenad Merle were vital in ensuring that these études were skillfully yet challengingly written for the violin because this experienced educator sees and anticipates potential issues in all of these categories. In addition to these consultations, playing them with Đana Kahriman, a dear friend who first performed them, was also extremely important. Both of them presented their thoughts in such a way that they would start a sentence about a problematic bar only to finish that same sentence in silence, by playing, adjusting a phrase or looking for the best fingering. 
I also took on an additional challenge when I began writing these pieces. That is, in addition to the possibility of playing these studies separately, as solo pieces, they can also be played as a chamber piece for five violins – i.e. at the same time. I wanted to create a soundtrack for the final scene of the classic conflict between Peter and the Boys and Hook and the Pirates. The creaking of the pirate ship’s boards, the rattling of swords, the clamor of the brave boys, Wendy shouting “Help!” and Tinker Bell high above flying over everybody and helping whomever she can. For this approach, I had to think in part vertically across the score, using more or less harmonic writing without losing the absolute autonomy of each individual étude. The challenge was to bring the form and complementarity of the material into alignment. Joint cadences were necessary to gradually exclude sections, such as a camera that tilts slightly to look higher and higher, leaving the focus on the final character – Tinker Bell, who also vanishes somewhere behind the clouds.
Ivan Končić
Cantus Ltd
Edition Number: Can. Can. 328-3022
ISMN 979-0-801363-02-2
Zagreb, 2022.