Devil’s Bargain is the final movement of a suite of pieces for violin and multi-percussion I’m in the process of writing. This version of the movement is for violin solo, and can be played as a separate piece. Devil’s Bargain, plays off common stories of men [usually] making deals with devils – strangely, nearly always involving a violin.
Spinning around in my mind are influences like Mahler and Saint-Saens, Faust, Charlie Daniels, and most of all Stravinsky. Something of the L’histoire du Soldat makes its way into this piece, both conceptually, and literally. There is also a surprise appearance from the Berg violin concerto later in the movement. This is a strange intervention to be sure, but less so as one considers the common theme of loss. This “hillbilly tarantella” features a rondo-like alternation between two main ideas that’s capped off by a series of closing themes that barrel aggressively forward continually threatening to overheat and collapse.