The violin was perhaps the most popular instrument of the 17th century. It turns up in nearly every Baroque instrumental genre, including the solo sonata, the concerto, and the immensely popular trio sonata (for two violins, often complimented by harpsichord, organ, or theorbo). Much less common, but equally compelling, are pieces for three violins with some sort of plucked or strummed accompaniment.
Dietrich Buxtehude is probably most familiar to modern classical music audiences as the man who inspired the young Johann Sebastian Bach to make a lengthy pilgrimage to Lubeck, Buxtehude's place of employment and residence for most of his life, just to hear Buxtehude play the organ. But Buxtehude was a major figure among German Baroque composers in his own right.
Aja was cool, relaxed, and controlled; it sounded deceptively easy. Its follow-up, Gaucho, while sonically similar, is its polar opposite: a precise and studied record, where all of the seams show. Gaucho essentially replicates the smooth jazz-pop of Aja, but with none of that record's dark, seductive romance or elegant aura…
Works for percussion and orchestra can be timbral gimmickry from the workshops of compositional Avantgardists; or they are rhythmically inspired by the nature of the solo instrument. However, they can also be full of melody and feeling. This is true of Avner Dormans Spices, Perfumes, Toxins! a concerto for two percussionists and orchestra. Instead of hailing from a theoretical ivory tower, this work adheres to the basic form of the solo concerto. In spite of this, every note speaks the language of modernism while steering clear of typically engineered moments.