The world of traditional "classical" music has little repertoire written for the combination of Violin and Viola even though those instruments are the most widely used in combination with other instruments in groups such as string quartets, piano quartets, orchestras, etc. Violinists and Violists make up the greatest percentage of string players at any musical institution, making the duo an easy and logical choice for frequent performance. Unfortunately the same few pieces from the 18-19th century are performed over and over, lessening the impact of this beautiful and extremely suitable combination.
We collaborated with composers from the United States, Belize, and Argentina to create new works for this combination, which we performed across America, then recorded onto a single CD. Also included is a rarely heard duo by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. The reason we chose these composers is that all of them have a link to "pop" music and culture in some way or another, whether by quoting pop songs in their music, playing in bands on the side, writing music for popular artists, or even just being well-known singer-songwriters in their own right. We feel that there should be no barriers between performers and audience, and that these works all speak very clearly to listeners of all ages and backgrounds.The living composers on the CD are: Errollyn Wallen, Libby Larsen, and Mario Diaz Gavier.We have been fortunate enough to receive a Vince Coffin grant from the University of Hartford that helped with the costs of recording the works, and now we are just seeking the remaining funds to put the CD into physical production and be ready for streaming and downloading on the internet.We discovered many things along the way, from the wonderful people to whom we introduced "classical" music, to exactly how portable and flexible our combination is. Drive-by duos, anyone?-Anton and Rita
- (41 days)