Maria Grenfell

Welcome to the website of Maria Grenfell, composer. 


Ceol na Fidhle (pronounced ‘kee-OL na fiddle’), for violin and percussion, is based on Celtic bagpipe and fiddle tunes.  The Gaelic title means “tunes for highland fiddle.”  Some of the tunes are obvious while others are almost hidden. Prologue starts with a bang, and is followed by Hornpipe where a familiar tune dances and then scurries away beneath a disguise of accompanying notes and rhythmic displacement.  The Boatman slows the pace and melodic decoration suggests the sound of bagpipes playing this rather wistful song.  Finally, Reel returns to the highly-charged drive of the Prologue with a frantic and virtuosic ending.

Ceol na Fidhle was written in 1999 for musicians Rachel Bremner and Tom O’Kelly and has received many subsequent performances, such as the Thornton School of Music Contemporary Music Ensemble at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, and Oberlin Conservatory.

Instrumentation: solo violin, percussion (marimba, 4 tomtoms, small bass drum, suspended cymbal, Chinese opera gong)