SCRUMDIDDLYUMPTIOUS is a suite for violin and viola inspired by Roald Dahl’s well known 1964 children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is the story of chocolate czar Willy Wonka and his search to find a child heir to his chocolate empire. The title of the work is likely the best Dahl word ever created, meaning extremely scrumptious, excellent, splendid and delicious. Each of the movements are titled in a tongue in cheek reference to themes and characters.
The suite begins with a play on the Everlasting Gobstopper, a candy that lasts forever. The Everlasting Double-Triple-Quadruple Stopper focuses specifically on music comprised of double, triple and quadruple stops (a string technique of playing two, three, or four notes at the same time).
Golden Invention references Willy Wonka’s “invitation” to find five golden tickets that grant entry into his chocolate factory. All the notes of this music are harmonics, giving the music a shimmering-like shine to a two-voice invention-like texture.
Salted Waltz with Spoiled Nuts pays homage to Veruca Salt, a greedy, demanding, stingy and spoiled brat. The music for Ms. Salt uses a famous children’s round, Row, Row, Row, Your Boat filtered through a deranged and frenzied chocolate river boat ride.
Bucket Blues channels the character of Charlie Bucket, a kind-hearted boy who eventually is named heir of Wonka’s factory. The music evokes melancholy and warmth as one can only find in a character of true selflessness.
Loompa Loops references Oompa-Loompas, small humans who work with Wonka and are mischievous and love practical jokes. The melody for this music is derived from another children’s song that loops over and over, London Bridge is Falling Down played backwards.
The final movement, Fugue Factory completes the suite with a tongue and cheek comparison with Fudge and Fugue. The music unfolds as a two-voice fugue churned out like a fudge bar from Wonka’s factory. Bon Appetit!
3/26/2020: Sonic Apricity, University of Minnesota
3/29/2020: Outside the Box New Music Festival; Southern Illinois University
3/30/2020: Indiana State University
4/18/2020: Christopher Newport University
Violin & Viola
1.The Everlasting Double-Triple-Quadruple Stopper
2. Golden Invention
3. Salted Waltz with Spoiled Nuts
4. Bucket Blues
5. Loompa Loops
6. Fugue Factory
Sonic Apricity with
Generous Support from
Christopher Newport University
March 26, 2020
Erik Rohde, violin
Jacob Tews, viola
University of Minnesota