List of Works || Belaria

Belaria (1992)

One of: Violin, Viola, Cello

Duration: 10 minutes

First Performance: 1 October 1996; Halifax; Martin Beaver

This “beautiful song” was composed to demonstrate the expressive qualities of the unaccompanied violin. Harmonics, double stops, sul tasto, pizzicato, and mutes create a compelling timbral variety. Weinzweig began composing Belaria while at his summer cottage, which may reflect the meditative quality of the work.

The pitch content bears the influence of Weinzweig’s serialist period (mostly the 1950s and 60s): the opening melody outlines twelve different pitches; however these pitches are not employed in any kind of strict serialist fashion. In Belaria, Weinzweig’s control of the Western chromatic scale no longer relies on strict serialism; the work even incorporates non-Western scales, with notation for microtonal pitches.

Belaria may be performed on violin, viola, or cello.

Written by Alexa Woloshyn