Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

24 December, 2009
On Christmas Eve you can choose from either two afternoon services, or a Candlelight midnight service:

Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church (click here for map)
8011 Douglas, Dallas, Texas 75225, Tel. 214-363-5471

3:00pm and 5:00pm – Christmas liturgy with the Gyros Quintet, organ and choir.


St. Luke's Episcopal Church (click here for map)
5923 Royal Lane, Dallas, TX 75230, Tel: 214-368-6304

Christmas Eve Music, 10 pm - with the Gyros String Quartet *
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 10:30 pm

* Vesselin Demirev, Jennifer Sweetman, violins, Norbert Gerl, viola, Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

Saturday, November 28, 2009

W. A. Mozart and Marriage

A client and father of the bride in Tucson, Arizona provided the incentive to adapt Mozart’s “Sull’aria” from the opera “The Marriage of Figaro” for string quartet.

This sublime little duet features in “The Shawshank Redemption”, in one of the great examples of the restorative powers of Mozart’s music.

In case you don’t remember it, here it is:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

J.S.BACH - “Erbarme Dich” Aria

New arrangement has been added to the sheet music section on the Gyros String Quartet web site:

Yo Yo Ma’s recording of No. 39 from St. Matthew Passion - the Aria “Erbarme Dich”, for alto solo, solo violin, strings and continuo - gave me the idea that an adaptation for violin, cello and organ could perhaps be useful. Since it involves only three people it might have a better chance of getting performed as well. Normally you would need a minimum of eight.

listen to the Yo-Yo Ma recording on YouTube:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Irving Firefighter's Ball

On Friday, October 23 the Gyros Quartet played for the Irving Firefighter’s Ball, which this year took place at the “Frontiers of Flight Museum” at Love Field. What a cool place! We were graciously invited to the formal sit down dinner afterward as well. Thank you, Monica!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Donizetti Premiere at Cathedral Guadalupe

Tuesday, 13 October, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe
2215 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201, Tel. 214-871-1362

Stabat Mater
(for Soprano, Alto, strings and Basso continuo)

Parafrasi del Christus (Dallas Premiere)
(for Soprano, Alto and strings)

details on the edition are here

The musicians:
Gyros String Quartet
with bassist Chris Pike and Brian Bentley, organ
Soprano - Lucy Creech
Mezzo Soprano - Natalie Arduino

Admission is free
* Vesselin Demirev, Kurt Sprenger, violins, Norbert Gerl, viola, Francesco Mastromatteo, violoncello

Pictures below are from the first rehearsal:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Laura and Stephen

Photography: Gary Donihoo - F8 Studio

This very beautiful wedding ceremony took place on September 19, 2009 at Laura’s home in Lakewood.


Seating of the Grandparents and Parents
Schubert – “Ave Maria”

Wedding Party Processional
Bach – “Air on the G String”

Bridal Processional
Bach – “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”

Handel - “Hornpipe” from “Water Music”

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cellist Goes to Great Lenghts

This project all started one day last week while I was working in the yard when I received a call from my brother-in-law. Looking for just about any excuse to take a break from yard work, I answered the phone. He tells me that his daughter will shortly be celebrating her sixteenth birthday, and he has a special musical request for the occasion. It turns out that my brother-in-law is acting on behalf of a young man who is a good friend and classmate of his daughter, and it seems that this young man has feelings for his daughter that go a little beyond friendship. Sadly, these feelings are as yet not being reciprocated, and she views their relationship as "just friends". From this point forward, to protect privacy, and for the sake of clarity, I will refer to these two young people as Cyrano and Roxanne.

Mind you, I have never gone to great lengths to position myself as an expert in the nightmare that is teenage romance. I only remember the hideous awkwardness of the teenage crush and the nausea which accompanies the inevitable rejection. Nevertheless, I agreed to do what I could to aid in the young man's quest. It so happens that young Cyrano is a budding cellist, and his mission is to play a special piece of music dedicated to Roxanne at her upcoming birthday party. That special piece of music is from the recent film Twilight, which every teenage girl in the world has seen at least a dozen times.

The music in question is a piano piece called "A River Runs Through You", but is it really from the movie? Often confused with, and often erroneously referred to as "Bella's Lullaby" this tune was apparently not in the film and was not written by the composer of the film's score, Carter Burwell. Did we have the right piece of music? I would have to call Norbert, who is scholar and sage on all musical minutiae.

After hours of detective work, neither Norbert nor I could figure out exactly how this little piano piece got attached to the film. It is a bit of a mystery. It is, however, a reality that people are crazy for this music, and Norbert and I set out to somehow make a transcription for cello.

The music itself is not unlike the two part inventions of J.S. Bach in texture and form, but it is of course quite different in content and style. It is immediately obvious that the composer has conceived this music for a specific idiom (the piano). Difficulties can arise when one attempts to transcribe a piece written for an instrument that can accommodate many lines and notes of music at once to an instrument that essentially plays a single line. Fortunately, we discovered that young Cyrano has a buddy who plays guitar, and he could play the bass line (the left hand on the piano) while the cello takes the melody (piano right hand). This not only saved the project, but opened the door to several other possibilities as well!

To make a long story short (not really possible at this point, I realize) we have finished four versions of this piece of music. The first version is in the original key of A Major, which requires a fairly advanced technique as the register is moderately high with some tricky thumb position work. The second version is a much more accessible version in the key of D Major which requires no high register thumb position. Those are only two versions you say? Ah, but Norbert and I have made two more transcriptions of the piece, again one in A Major and one in D Major, for cello duo. I have added bowing and fingering suggestions for all of these versions of the piece. We think it turned out pretty well. There may be other arrangements for other instrumental combinations yet in the pipeline, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime........best of luck to young Cyrano! and happy 16th birthday to Roxanne!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Anne of Green Gables

New arrangement has been added in the sheet music section (Popular) on the Gyros String Quartet web site:

“Anne’s Theme” from the 1985 TV movie “Anne of Green Gables”

This was a special request for Christine and Stephen’s wedding ceremony on August 1st at Royal Lane Baptist Church.

It turned out to be a perfect processional for the bridesmaids - big, sweeping, romantic and just the right length at 2:30 minutes.

Listen to the live recording - mp3

Vesselin Demirev, violin
Gary Schnitzer, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Portuguese Love Theme

New arrangement has been added in the “sheet music” section (Popular) on the Gyros String Quartet web site:

“Portuguese Love Theme” from the film “Love Actually”

mp3 recording of the string quartet version from sampler output

listen to the original soundtrack on YouTube:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kimberly and Maurice at St. Jude

~ the violins are arriving

Gyros String Quartet
Katie Lacy - organ, piano, vocal

Air on a G String
Canon in D

Responsorial Psalm 128
“May the Lord bless us, may the Lord protect us, all the days,
All the days of our lives.”

Celtic Alleluia
“The love of the Lord lasts forever; let us love one another. God
has shown His love through His Son, Jesus Christ.”

Unity Candle: “Ave Maria” (Bach/Gounod)

Offertory: “Prayer of St. Francis”

Mass Parts from Mass of Creation

Communion: “How Beautiful”

Recessional: “La Rejouissance”

Postlude: “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Matt and Ashley at Prestonwood

Photography: April Sorenson - Relative Photography

This beautiful wedding ceremony took place on March 7, 2009 at Prestonwood Chapel.

Gyros String Quartet
Glen Hummel, trumpet
James Diaz, organ

“Oh Perfect Love”
“Here I am Lord”
“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”


Parents & Grandparents: “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”
“Chiming of the Hour”
Bridal Party Entrance: “Canon in D”
Bride’s Entrance: “Trumpet Voluntary”
Unity Candle: “Be Thou My Vision”
Recessional: “Hornpipe” from “Watermusic”

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Arrangements

Recently requested arrangements have been added to the “sheet music” section on the Gyros String Quartet web site:

  1. Viva La Vida - Coldplay
  2. I’ll Stand By You - The Pretenders
  3. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
  4. All I Want Is You - U2
  5. Love Theme from “Romeo and Juliet” - Nino Rota
  6. I Love You, Lord - Laurie Klein
  7. As The Deer - Martin Nystrom
  8. The Prayer - Bocelli / Dion
also, in the classical realm:

the famous aria “Ombra mai fù” from XERXES, for use with a vocalist. Commonly known as Handel's “Largo”, although the original tempo marking was larghetto. Go figure.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Valentine’s Day Recital

14 February, 2009 at 8:00 pm

St. Andrew United Methodist Church
(click here for map)
5801 W. Plano Parkway
Plano, TX 75093,
Tel. 972-380-8001

Vesselin Demirev – first violinist of the Gyros String Quartet, and Daniel Delpino, piano

Bach - Ciaccona
Brahms - Sonata No. 3 in d-moll


Franck - Sonata
Chausson - Poeme

Admission is free

If you missed the concert, here is the first movement of the Brahms Sonata:

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