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Four Strings Around the World

A program of global resonance, with music of composers from East and West Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South and North America.

The Latest Update

Four Strings Around the World is on the Grammy ballot!!

Posted on October 31, 2018 by Irina Muresanu

So thrilled to be in the “Best Classical Solo Instrumental” and “Best Producer” – Dan Merceruio!!

If you are a voting member of the recording academy, please consider “Four Strings Around the World“!


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Limelight Magazine – Four and a half stars!!!

Posted on October 19, 2018 by Irina Muresanu


Have violin, will travel is Muresanu’s musical mantra.


by Lisa MacKinney on September 24, 2018


This album is a first for Romanian (now based in the US) violinist Irina Muresanu. Four Strings Around the World traverses four continents, exploring and celebrating “diverse musical cultures through the unifying voice of solo violin.”

Her journey begins with fellow Romanian George Enescu, and it’s apparent from the opening bars of his Airs in Romanian Folk Style that Muresanu has a wonderfully arresting and nuanced tone. Deeper in, this carefully chosen collection of unaccompanied works allows Muresanu to share an extraordinary sonic palette in which her 1849 Giuseppe Rocca violin seems at times to have its own breath. There are a few obvious choices from the solo violin canon – Bach’s famous Chaconne, Paganini’s Caprice No 24 and Fritz Kreisler’s Recitativo and Scherzo are Western Europe’s representatives on the world tour – and it’s fascinating to hear these differently when located in an international context.

Highlights include Calligraphy No 5 by Iranian composer Reza Vali (b. 1952), Dave Flynn’s (b. 1977, Ireland) Tar Éis an Caoineadh and the absolutely mesmerising Oshta(Four) by Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate (b. 1968) of the Chickasaw Nation, of which this recording is the world premiere. And speaking of recording, the sound here is superb, with Muresanu’s richly present violin basking in a warm silence that highlights every nuance of her playing. On all levels, a very impressive release.

Composer: Enescu, Paganini
Composition: Violin music
Performer: Irina Muresanu v
Catalogue Number: Dorian Sono Luminus DSL92221

A glowing CD review for “Four Strings Around the World”

Posted on June 24, 2018 by Irina Muresanu




This post to bring to the attention of our readers an extraordinary violinist, Irina Muresanu.

Rumanian by birth, she now lives in Maryland and teaches at the University of Maryland. Sono Luminus recently released the album Four Strings Around the World(DSL 92221) and forwarded to us a copy for review on our blog.

When you have a chance, email Sono Luminus for a digital link to Four Strings Around the World. Or even better, find a hard copy of this beautifully engineered CD. I promise you will be stunned by not only the virtuosic playing of Irina Muresanu’s playing but also by her deep commitment to exploring music for her instrument from musical cultures as diverse as Indian, Persian, Native American, Irish, Chinese and Argentine ones. Oh, and read her liner notes. This is a musical scholar who gives voice to her ideas both in words and in her playing.

In her album she mixes samples of an off-beat repertory with sundry pieces by Kreisler, Paganini, and JS Bach. The Caprice No. 24 of Niccolo Paganini, Fritz Kreisler’s Recitative and Scherzo, Op. 6 and JS Bach’s Chaconne from the D minor Partita are de rigueur test pieces for the best of violinists and Irina Muresanu quickly puts any doubts to rest: this is a superb artist in full command of her instrument. She plays the Italian master’s Caprice with Romantic bel canto singing tone. The Kreisler is all pure Viennese Schlagmusik here given a lively reading. The Bach Chaconne – a notoriously tricky musical mine-field is played by Muresanu with classical sobriety

None of the rest of the music in this album is strictly and traditionally classic, but grown from strong folk roots. Such is the case with Georges Enescu’s decidedly gypsy-flavored Airs in Romanian Style, which Muresanu plays with the dash and abandon of a village fiddler and with daunting technique.

In the Gaelic Tar éis an Caoineadh the composer and Ms. Muresanu employ all sorts of technically dazzling effects typical of Irish fiddle music. In Reza Vali’s Calligraphy No. 5 the inspiration for the composer is born out of ancient music for the Arab rebab and the Persian kemancheh, both ancestors to the western violin. In both these compositions Muresanu is nothing short of dazzling, as her violin imitates the bending of the pitch typical of much Iranian music with its modal, non-western sound.

In Shirih Korde’s three-part Vak for violin and electronic drone Muresanu’s playing is hauntingly redolent of the sound of Indian string instruments. In Bright Sheng’s lovely The Stream Flows: II, Mureanu adopts a percussive mode of playing that alternates with a plangent sound reminiscent of a Chinese erhu.

The music of Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Etude No. 3 is cool at times, red hot at others, recalling the sound of fiddles played in dimly-lit, smoke-filled dives near the docks of the River Plate. Muresanu cuts loose on this track fearlessly throwing all caution to the winds.

Entering the musically unknown territory of Native American composer Jerod Impichchaachaha’Tate, of the Chickasaw Nation, Irina Muresanu plays Oshta with intensity and respect for the spirituality inherent in this strangely haunting composition.

Mark O’Connor’s The Cricket Dance is Appalachian to the core and foot-tappin’ and fiddlin’ her way into a grand finale, Irina Muresanu convinces us there’s simply nothing in this world she cannot play.

Rafael de Acha http://www.rafaelmusicnotesa.com April 2, 2018



Sono Luminus releases “Four Strings Around the World” recording!!

Posted on June 3, 2018 by Irina Muresanu

On April 27, 2018, Sono Luminus releases Four Strings Around the World, an album featuring the acclaimed Romanian-born violinist Irina Muresanu in a program of global resonance celebrating the diversity of  musical cultures through the unifying voice of solo violin. The recording includes two world premiere works: Vák by Indian-born Shirish Korde and Oshta (Four) by Chickasaw Nation composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate (commissioned especially for this project and dedicated to Irina Muresanu), as well as the US recording premiere of George Enescu’s Airs in Romanian Folk Style. Other featured works include Dave Flynn’s Tar Éis an Caoineadh’; Caprice No. 24 by Niccolò Paganini; Fritz Kreisler’s Recitativo and Scherzo, Op. 6; J.S. Bach’s Ciaccona from the Partita in D minor, BWV 1004; Reza Vali’s Calligraphy No. 5; The Stream Flows: II by Bright Sheng; Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Étude No. 3; and Mark O’Connor’s The Cricket Dance.

Learn more about the album, including Muresanu’s inspiration for creating “Four Strings,” below!

Buy Now on Amazon
The idea for Four Strings Around the World grew out of the challenges Muresanu encountered as she was learning Mark O’Connor’s Cricket Dance (the final selection on the album)An experienced concert violinist, Muresanu was used to absorbing complex scores in a matter of weeksShe wondered why this work was proving so challenging. She writes, “Could it have been because it was written in a musical style completely different from my classical training? And if so, how many more different languages were there outside of the traditional/standard classical repertoire? Inspired by this question, I started my exploration of works reflecting the various ways the violin is employed in musical settings worldwide. What resulted is Four Strings Around the World… a project that immersed me in sounds and colors I didn’t even realize could be produced by my own instrument.”
Four String’s first review
The album, which is organized into two sections—Music from Western & Eastern Europe and Music from the Middle East, Asia, South and North America—opens with a work from Romania, George Enescu’s Airs in Romanian Folk Style. Muresanu writes, “I thought it fitting to start the journey in Romania, my native country.” Her journey led her to discover composers from Iran, Ireland, and China including Reza ValiDave Flynn, and Bright Sheng, all of whom drew inspiration from the music of their own nations. Finding compositions inspired by Indian music or Native American music proved more of a challenge, but it gave Muresanu the opportunity to add to the solo violin repertoire by commissioning works by Shirish Korde, (a composer of East Indian descent), and Chickasaw Nation composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, who wrote pieces inspired by, respectively, Indian ragas and a Native American hymn. Reflecting her classical training roots, Muresanu built the program around the two greatest masterworks of the violin repertoire: the Paganini 24th Caprice and the Bach Ciaccona. Also included is Kreisler’s Recitativo and Scherzo, which embodies (as she writes) “the inimitable Viennese spirit and was suggested to me by my beloved teacher, Michèle Auclair many years ago. I have been playing it ever since and it is my homage to her legacy.” The album ends with the piece that sparked her journey, Mark O’Connor’s Cricket Dance, and brings us back to the United States, where the violinist now lives, works and has a family. 
Recent concert review


Four Strings Around the World was conceived by Irina Muresanu as a celebration of diverse musical cultures refracted through the unifying voice of a single medium: the violin.

In this program, audiences of various musical backgrounds from virtually all over the world can identify with at least one familiar sounding piece and experience the sounds of other cultures. In concert, the recital is presented in an exciting format, as a performance/lecture/presentation/multi-media performance.

The CD recording of this program  will be released on the Grammy-award label Sono Luminus in April 2018. The program will be performed through the end of the next season (2018-2019) in various art museums, concert series,  educational institutions and other non-traditional places.

Four Strings Around the World is uniquely different that most solo violin recitals. The audience will experience:

  • Music of composers from 4 continents: Europe, Asia, South America and North America
  • Various styles of playing (classical, fiddle, Arabic (modal with quarter tones), Asian (pentatonic music), tango-style)
  • Theatrical set-up with costume props suggestive of folk outfits from various cultures
  • Short videos in between pieces with music and images designed to immerse the listener in various cultures
  • Two new commissions by Shirish Korde (India) and Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate (Chickasaw Nation)

Irina Muresanu’s musical journey starts in Romania (her native country) and continues through Europe with the fiddling buoyancy of pieces by Romanian, Russian and Irish composers (EnescuShchedrin and Flynn) and two iconic pillars of the Western music solo violin repertoire: Paganini‘s Caprice no. 24 and the Bach Ciaccona.

The sonic exploration continues through works of composers with musical roots in Persian (Reza Vali), Chinese (Bright Sheng) and Indian (Shirish Korde) cultures. Each of these pieces uses a different modal system, creating a wide variety of sound effects. In this segment of the program the violin embodies its ancestors and relatives, the Arab rebab and the Chinese erhu. After a brief detour in South America (via an Astor Piazzolla Tango Etude), we return to the North American landscape of  Native American composer Jerod ‘Impichchaachaaha’ Tate and famous composer/blue-grass fiddler Mark O’Connor.

Critic Keith Powers noted : “Four Strings Around the World not only extends the superbly talented Muresanu in new directions, but offers a glimpse into variations of violin technique and approach that would only be gleaned by attending concerts in various country fairs, Irish pubs, campfire gatherings and parlors. ”   Cape Cod Times

                                 FOUR STRINGS AROUND THE WORLD REPERTOIRE

George Enescu  (1881-1955)                                     – Four Airs in Romanian Folk Style (Romania)

Rodion Shchedrin (b. 1932)                                                      – Gypsy Melody  (Russia)

Dave Flynn  (b. 1977)                                                                    – Tar Eis an Caoineadh (Ireland)

Niccolo Paganini  (1782-1840)                                                – Caprice no. 24 (Italy)

Fritz Kreisler  (1875-1962)                                          – Recitativo and Scherzo (Austria)

J. S.  Bach  (1685-1750)                                                             – Ciaccona (Germany)


Reza Vali  (b. 1952)                                                                        – Calligraphy no. 5 (Iran)

Shirish Korde (b. 1945)                                                             – Vak  (with electronic drone) (India) 

Bright Sheng  (b. 1955)                                                             – The Stream Flows (China)

Astor Piazzolla (1921- 1992)                                                 – Tango Etude  (Argentina)

Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate (b. 1968)                       Oshta  (Chickasaw Nation citizen)

Mark O’Connor (b. 1961)                                                              – Cricket Dance (United States) 


Project Media

Dave Flynn – Tar Éis an Caoineadh’
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Live Performance, University of Maryland Clarice Performing Arts Center
Dave Flynn is an award-winning composer born in Dublin, whose music has been acclaimed internationally for the way it has “incorporated traditional Irish music without Hollywood pastiche…(The Times) “with the kind of power and grittiness you hear from Celtic fiddlers at their most raucous” (New York Times).
Tar Éis an Caoineadh’ (meaning “After the Keening”) was written as an homage to famous Irish fiddler.s

Reza Vali – Calligraphy no. 5
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Live Performance at the Boston Atheneum.
Called an “Iranian Bartok” by the 20th Century Music Magazine, Reza Vali is a composer adept at merging the richness of his native folk music with Western classical techniques. Born in Iran, he studied composition at the Academy of Music in Vienna and Pittsburgh University. He is currently an Associate Professor of Composition at Carnegie Mellon University.

Shirish Korde – VAk
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Live Performance, University of Maryland Clarice Performing Arts Center.Vak is modeled after a classical North Indian Raga performance which consists of three sections: Alap, Jor and Jhalla. Vak is a sanskrit word which literally translates into “speech”. But Vak (also spelled as Vac), commonly refers to the “goddess of speech”. Her many attributes include “one who enters into inspired poets, visionaries and who is a friend of musicians.” She is also the mother of all emotions and mother of the sacred scriptures called the Vedas.

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Boston, Massachusetts

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Last update on October 31, 2018

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