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Partch Dinescu Reinhard Grainger Xenakis Wyschnegradsky Rovner Fokker | VIOLIST Anastasia Solberg

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Classical: Chamber Music Avant Garde: Microtonal Moods: Mood: Virtuoso
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VIOLIST Anastasia Solberg

by Partch Dinescu Reinhard Grainger Xenakis Wyschnegradsky Rovner Fokker

Great music and great playing on the viola is transformed in Anastasia's hands, she moves from Partch to Xenakis, in both virtuosic solo and ensemble turns.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Li Po Song: I Am A Peach Tree
2:35 $0.99
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2. Din Cinpoiu
12:19 $0.99
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3. Hymnus Und Organum
1:26 $0.99
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4. Coimbra Manuscript
2:04 $0.99
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5. Free Music 2
1:02 $0.99
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6. Potion Scene
8:43 $0.99
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7. Etude Ultrachromatique
3:47 $0.99
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8. Trespass
7:43 $0.99
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9. Appel A Deux
4:56 $0.99
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10. Septimes In De Tatrabergen
1:31 $0.99
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11. Embellie
8:01 $0.99
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12. Li Po Song: A Midnight Farewell
1:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
1. Harry Partch I AM A PEACH TREE
Johnny Reinhard, intoned voice
Anastasia Solberg, viola

2. Violetta Dinescu DIN CINPOIU
Anastasia Solberg, viola

3. Anonymous (Middle Ages) HYMNUS UND ORGANUM (c. 1000)
Andrew Bolotowsky, flute
Anastasia Solberg, viola

4. Portuguese Anonymous COIMBRA MANUSCRIPT (c. 1500)
Andrew Bolotowsky, flute
Michiyo Suzuki, clarinet
Anastasia Solberg, viola
Johnny Reinhard, bassoon

5. Percy Grainger FREE MUSIC #2
Andrew Bolotowsky, flute
Michiyo Suzuki, clarinet
Anastasia Solberg, viola
Johnny Reinhard, bassoon

6. Harry Partch POTION SCENE (1931)
Meredith Borden, soprano
Anastasia Solberg, viola

7. Ivan Wyschnegradsky ETUDE ULTRACHROMATIQUE
Andrew Bolotowsky, flute
Michiyo Suzuki, clarinet
Anastasia Solberg, viola
Johnny Reinhard, bassoon

8. Johnny Reinhard TRESPASS
Dorien Verheijden, soprano
Clemens Merkel, violin
Anastasia Solberg, viola
Jeroen Reuling, cello

9. Anton Rovner APPEL A DEUX
Anastasia Solberg, viola
Greg Evans, horn

10. Adriaan Daniël Fokker SEPTIMES IN DE TATRABERGEN
Dan Auerbach, violin
Anastasia Solberg, viola

11. Iannis Xenakis EMBELLIE
Anastasia Solberg, viola

12. Harry Partch A MIDNIGHT FAREWELL
Johnny Reinhard, intoned voice
Anastasia Solberg, viola



Harry Partch composed SEVENTEEN LYRICS BY LI PO (1930-33) in just intonation based on a published translation of Li Po’s 8th Century Chinese poetry into English by Shigeyoshi Obata (E.P. Dutton &Co., 1922). Two of the songs, more intoned than sung, are included (“I Am A Peach Tree” and “A Midnight Farewell”), perhaps representative of the many live performances that Anastasia Solberg and Johnny Reinhard have presented over the years. Past performances include Bergen (Norway), London, Amsterdam, Boston, and New York. These were among the first compositions of Harry Partch (1900-1974) to use a notation of ratios, however there were different ratios in use than were later settled upon in the fixed percussion still to be built. While an “adapted viola” proved opportune for Partch at the time (cello fingerboard outfitted with brads on a viola body played on the knee), a fuller –boded viola now has thicker gauge strings available allowing a retuning to Partch’s requisite perfect fourth below the standard viola.

Harry Partch: I AM A PEACH TREE
I am a peach tree blossoming in a deep pit.
Who is there I may turn to and smile?

You are the moon up in the far sky;
Passing, you looked down on me an hour, then went on forever.

A sword with the keenest edge,
Could not cut the stream of water in twain
So that it would cease to flow.
My thought is like the stream, and flows and follows you on forever.


The title of Violeta Dinescu’s DIN CINPOIU (1986) is Romanian for “from bagpipes played” which is also the name of an ancient dance for seniors in her native Romania. The performance is recent, on May 2, 2009 at the church of St. Luke in the Fields in New York City. The viola solo essentially imitates the bagpipes in character. By transforming various dance motifs and other stylized elements, but without any direct quotations, new processes create new structures. It should be possible to recognize a kin of a bagpipes’ “sound space” in the playing of the viola through its droning. Alternatively, we find an imaginary odyssey through memories of varying intensities and expressivities so that a dance “attitude,” or a dance impulse, achieves a whole world of feelings. The piece is in the traditional tonality of Romanian folk music, notated quartertonally.

Violeta Dinescu (b. 1953) is an award-winning Romanian composer living in Baden-Baden in Germany, who frequently composes microtonally.



HYMNUS UND ORGANUM (c. 1000) is an anonymous duo performed on viola and flute in the historically appropriate Pythagorean tuning, built exclusively upon a spiral of pure (3/2) fifths. There is a single just intonation major third (5/4) strategically placed in the score over the word amour (love).


The COIMBRA MANUSCRIPT (c. 1500) selection attributed to one Portuguese Anonymous makes use of clear microtonal connecting notes. It was discovered and described in an academic article from which we seized it for performance.


Percy Grainger’s FREE MUSIC #2 was once conceived for string quartet, followed by a quartet of theremin. Finally, any combination of instruments able to work within a microtonal milieu can work. The AFMM has indeed performed both versions in premiere performances. The piece was arranged by Johnny Reinhard for viola, flute, clarinet, and bassoon, performed on May 27, 1999 at St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University, in New York City.


Ivan Wyschnegradsky wrote ETUDE ULTRACHROMATIQUE for a 31-tone equal temperament organ in Haarlem, The Netherlands. The organ was built by Adriaan Daniel Fokker, who also composed for the instrument. The piece was arranged by Johnny Reinhard for viola, flute, clarinet, and bassoon. The performance was May 27, 1999 at St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University, in New York City.


Harry Partch‘s POTION SCENE features a selection from William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Here, Juliet is faced with the decision to do herself in. This premiere on this recording of the December 1931 duo composed in San Francisco was performed on May 27, 1999 in the St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University. The piece was later amplified in 1955 in a new version to include an added two sopranos, kithara, bass marimba, chromelodeon, and cello.

Farewell: God knows when we shall meet again.
I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins.
That almost freezes up the heat of life: I’ll call them back again to comfort me.
Nurse: What should she do here?

My dismal scene I needs must act alone.
Come, vial. What if this mixture do not work at all?
Shall I be married then tomorrow morning?
No. No; this shall forbid it; lie thou there.
What if it be a poison which the friar subtly hath minister’d to have me dead.
Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour’d because he married me before to Romeo.

And yet, methinks, it should not, for he hath still been tried a holy man.
I will not entertain so bad a thought.
How if, when I am laid into the tomb, I wake before the time that Romeo come to redeem me?
There’s a fearful point!
Shall I not then be stifled in the vault to whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?
Or, if I live, is it not very like the horrible conceit of dee3ath and night,
Together with the terror of the place is in a vault, an ancient receptacle, where, for those many hundred years, the bones of all my buried ancestors are pack’d;
Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
Lies festering in his shroud; here, as they say, at some hours in the night spirits resort:
Alack, alack! Is it not very like that I, so early waking,
What with loathsome smells, and shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth, that living mortals, hearing the, run mad: O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught,
Environed with all these hideous fears, and madly play with my forefathers’ joints, and pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud?
And in this rage, with some great kinsman’s bone, as with a club, dash out my desperate brains?

O Looks! Methinks I see my cousin’s ghost, seeking out Romeo,
That did spit this body upon a rapier’s point. Stay, Tybalt, stay.
Romeo, I come! This do I drink to thee.


Anton Rovner‘s APPEL A DEUX was conceived for two dissimilar instruments, heard here for viola and horn. The title references particular Ivan Wyschnegradsky and Olivier Messiaen works. The composer originally wrote the athematic work for the Darbellay Duo of Switzerland, intended for a Moscow performance.

This composition if Anton Rovner’s first microtonal composition following his studies with Milton Babbitt at The Juilliard School. His doctorate was with Charles Wuorinen at Rutgers University. Anton Rovner directed and produced the Bridge series of concerts in NYC during the ‘90s.


Adriaan Daniël Fokker’s SEPTIMES IN DE TATRABERGEN was premiered in the United States. on May 2, 2009 in the Church of St. Luke of the Fields. The composed music of A.D. Fokker (1887-1972), usually composing under the name Arie de Leon, was compiled and published by musicologist Rudolf Rasch as volume I of his Corpus Microtonale series based in Utrecht. The scientist turned composer and 31-tone equal temperament enthusiast was born in Java, in modern Indonesia. As a result of the NAZI invasion of The Netherlands, Fokker was no longer permitted to practice science. Fokker became engrossed in the work of Christian Hughens, and consequently, of 31-tone equal temperament.


Iannis Xenakis’ EMBELLIE for solo viola was recorded live on May 22, 1997 at the Columbia University St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City. Xenakis, born in Rumania in 1922 of Greek parentage, studied engineering in Athens, later moving to Paris to study architecture with Le Corbusier, and composition with Olivier Messiaen. Quintessentially Xenakis is the following admonition from the composer: “We must open our eyes and try to throw bridges towards other cultures, as well as to the immediate future of musical thought, before dying suffocated by electronic techniques, applied either on the instrumental level or on the level of computer compositions.


Harry Partch’s A MIDNIGHT FAREWELL was composed in Pasadena, California on January 17, 1933. [see notes in first paragraph.]

Harry Partch: A Midnight Farewell
By a pale lantern—under a cold moon
We were drinking heavily together.
Frightened by our orgies, a white heron
Flapped out of the river shallows. It was midnight.

Anastasia Solberg, violist, completed her graduate studies in performance at the Hochsule der Kunste, Berlin, with Prof. Bruno Giurranna. She is founder and director of Ensemble Solange, a mixed chamber ensemble who performed primarily in Europe, focusing on works and composers of rarely performed works. She participated one year in the “Neue Musik Tage” which led to collaborations with Dutch soprano, Dorien Verheijden and German clarinetist Michael Heitzler. Anastasia became involved with microtonal music as a natural segue to the life she had led as a child. She spent 4 years of her childhood in Korea and with the influence of her father was culturally immersed in that country. This was important in opening the ears to many different sounds and was the beginning of the search for the unknown. It was in Israel where her middle eastern interest with its microtonal twinge became even more apparent. It was after this journey that she then landed in NYC, met up with Johnny and the microtonal world. She was the violist in the first AFMM concert in 1981, and violist for the AFMM since 1996. Anastasia played all five viola parts on the commercially released CD of the “Universe Symphony” by Charles Ives. She has premiered works by Harry Partch, Victoria Bond, John Eaton, Anton Rovner, Violetta Dinescu, Luc Marcel, and Johnny Reinhard. Anastasia Solberg is an adjunct professor at New York University and Temple University. Anastasia now resides in the Catskills of New York. She opened a music school in 2001, the Music Institute of Sullivan and Ulster Counties (MISU).

Anastasia Solberg, violist, became involved with microtonal music as a natural segue to the life she had led as a child. She spent 4 years of her childhood in Korea and with the influence of her father was culturally immersed in that country. This was important in opening the ears to many different sounds and was the beginning of the search for the unknown. It was in Israel where her middle eastern interest with its microtonal twinge became even more apparent. It was after this journey that she then landed in NYC, met up with Johnny and the microtonal world. She was the violist in the first AFMM concert in 1981, and violist for the AFMM since 1996.

In 1982 she returned to Germany and completed her graduate studies in performance at the Hochsule der Kunste, Berlin, with Prof. Bruno Giurranna. In her continued journey looking for new sounds she thought it appropriate to attend the “Neue Musik Tage in Darmstadt, Germany,” were she began her working relationship with the Dutch soprano, Dorien Verheijden. Along with Michael Heitzler, clarinet and Michael Bauman, piano Anastasia formed and directed “Ensemble Solange,a mixed chamber ensemble who performs and records primarily in Europe, focusing on works and composers of rarely performed works.
Anastasia played all five viola parts on the commercially released CD of the “Universe Symphony” by Charles Ives. She has premiered works by Harry Partch, Victoria Bond, John Eaton, Anton Rovner, Violetta Dinescu, Luc Marcel, and Johnny Reinhard.

After teaching as adjunct at various institutions of higher learning (New York University, Temple University), as well as running her own private studio, Anastasia decided that she could best assist those around her by opening a music school. In 2001 she founded the Music Institute of Sullivan and Ulster Counties (MISU) in Ellenville New York . She also has been collaborating with 2 local community colleges (SUNY Ulster and SUNY Sullivan) in performance and instruction.


All recordings “live” from AFMM concerts
Mastered by Paul Geluso
Recording Engineer: Norman Greenspan
Cover Artist: Orlanda Brugnola

www.afmm.org ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
AMERICAN FESTIVAL OF MICROTONAL MUSIC © 2009

Johnny Reinhard, Director, AFMM
318 East 70th Street, Suite #5-FW
New York, New York 10021 USA

Support from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Maldeb Foundation

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