4 violins or 2 violins, viola, cello and bass
Commissioned by the first Red Violin Festival. First performed 1997 at National Museum Cardiff by the Madeleine Mitchell ensemble.
A driving and dramatic piece for 4 violins, commissioned by the first Red Violin Festival for the grand opening ceremony at the marble and granite National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, and repeated a few days later at St David’s Hall, Cardiff.
Fol-de-Riddles was first performed by the Madeleine Mitchell ensemble and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 1998.
An arrangement for two violins, viola, cello and double bass has been made by the composer.
“Pride of place went to the premiere of a [Red Violin] Festival commission, Fol de Riddles, a fanfare for four violins by Wales-based composer John Hardy… [in] this brief, striking work… the opening section set the first violinist against the others in dramatic, declamatory fashion; the second section, fast and exciting, involved all four in a riveting ensemble.”
Robin Stowell, The Strad, October 1998