Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon | All Viola, All the Time: Music for Multiple Violas By Scott Slapin

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All Viola, All the Time: Music for Multiple Violas By Scott Slapin

by Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon

This CD is a collection of music I’ve written over the past five years. It includes music for solo viola, viola duo, trio, quartet, quintet and solo viola and viola orchestra. -Scott Slapin
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Capricious for Viola Trio (in Memory of Emanuel Vardi)
Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon
6:55 $0.99
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2. Sketches for Viola Quartet
Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon
4:28 $0.99
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3. Five Pieces for a Memorial Concert (in Memory of Margi Ramsey): I. in Memoriam
Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon
3:52 $0.99
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4. Five Pieces for a Memorial Concert (in Memory of Margi Ramsey): II. Serenade
Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon
2:45 $0.99
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5. Five Pieces for a Memorial Concert (in Memory of Margi Ramsey): III. Elegy-Caprice
Scott Slapin
5:21 $0.99
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6. Five Pieces for a Memorial Concert (in Memory of Margi Ramsey): IV. Intermezzo
Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon
4:07 $0.99
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7. Five Pieces for a Memorial Concert (in Memory of Margi Ramsey): V. Postlude
Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon
3:14 $0.99
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8. Suite (Arranged for Solo Viola and Viola Orchestra): I. Tune
Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon
2:45 $0.99
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9. Suite (Arranged for Solo Viola and Viola Orchestra): II. Reflection
Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon
3:33 $0.99
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10. Suite (Arranged for Solo Viola and Viola Orchestra): III. Lullaby
Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon
3:30 $0.99
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11. Suite (Arranged for Solo Viola and Viola Orchestra): IV. Song and Dance
Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon
5:19 $0.99
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12. Recitative (Commissioned for the 2008 International Primrose Competition)
Scott Slapin
5:20 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Tanya and I recorded all parts. I played the solo part in the Suite and the unaccompanied pieces, and Tanya played the solo in the Postlude. We divided up the rest. Recitative was recorded in 2007 at Cellar Dweller Studios North in South Orange, NJ. Five Pieces for a Memorial Concert was recorded in 2008 at Cellar Dweller Studios South in North Plainfield, NJ. Everything else was recorded in the North Plainfield studio in June of 2012.

For all tracks, Larry Bentley was the engineer, and he mastered the recording and designed the artwork as well. Larry and I have been recording together for fifteen years.

I was commissioned to write the first piece, Capricious, by the American Viola Society. It is for viola trio, and the parts and score are available via digital download free of charge at the American Viola Society’s website.

Capricious is dedicated to the memory of my final viola teacher, Emanuel Vardi (1917-2011). Mr. Vardi was obsessed with Paganini’s 24 Caprices, and in the 1960’s he made the first complete recording of them on viola. What a stunt! The Caprices range from quite difficult to very nearly impossible (many in this latter category), especially on viola, and on musical grounds some are more pleasant to listen to than others. Hey, they’re etudes.

Mr. Vardi was rightfully quite proud of his accomplishment, and when I was asked to write a piece in his memory, I had to reference some of the Caprices. I managed to quote twelve for anyone who is counting. (Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 17, 24. No. 11 is awfully hard to recognize though.)

Capricious was given an impressive premiere performance by Shmuel Katz, Ann Roggen and Brenton Caldwell at the New York Viola Society, and Tanya, Ila Rondeau and I played it on the final concert of the 40th International Viola Congress in Rochester, NY.

Sketches for viola quartet covers a wide range of styles in a short amount of time. It is published by Ourtext in London, England. Sketches is the last piece I wrote for this album. It has not yet been officially premiered, though at YouTube you can see us read it through in our livingroom with a couple friends, Ila Rondeau and Amelia Clingman.

I wrote Five Pieces for a Memorial Concert in 2008. My mother died following a long battle with cancer in August of that year, and the concert was in November. I had just started playing in the Cincinnati Symphony, and I wrote these pieces in between their fairly demanding schedule of rehearsals and concerts. The movements were not intended to be played in order (as they are here), but rather to be interspersed throughout the concert, with works by other composers in between. The concert took place in New Jersey in a church where my mother and I had given many chamber concerts. (She was a cellist.)

With the exception of the Serenade, all movements are based on a similar chord progression. The first half of In Memoriam was written before my mother’s death and the second half, in which time seems suspended, soon afterward. The first melody of the Serenade is from a piece I wrote when I was around 13.

Elegy-Caprice has received a few performances since I played it, by violists including Philip Heyman, principal violist of the Welsh National Opera and Sphinx Competition winner Kaila Potts in Los Angeles and in Carnegie’s Weill Hall in New York City. Intermezzo originally included a flute part, and the final postlude was originally for viola and string orchestra. Naturally, all non-viola instruments were exchanged for their appropriate viola replacements in this recording.

The first two measures of the Postlude are based on the sarabande from the 2nd Cello Suite by Bach, which was beautifully performed by Alex Bacelar at the memorial concert, and which was a piece my mother had played at her own mother’s memorial concert. The sheet music for all five movements in both their original and all-viola versions is available from Ourtext in London.

The Suite (comprised of Tune, Reflection, Lullaby and Song & Dance) is the only piece on this album which I’ve previously recorded--- though as a viola duo. I thought adding even more violas would work nicely, so here it is for solo viola and viola orchestra. (The sheet music is available free of charge from the American Viola Society’s website. There is also a version for solo viola and string orchestra available from Ourtext in London.)

The final work Recitative was commissioned for the 2008 International Primrose Viola Competition, and it received many excellent performances during the semi-final round, held in Tempe, Arizona. In 2012 it was also a required piece for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble at the Aspen Music Festival, and it has been performed at the ARD Competition in Munich and on several recitals in the US and UK. The sheet music is available from Liben in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I made this recording in 2007 right after I wrote the piece and before I heard anyone else play it. I have heard many excellent interpretations since then that have likely influenced how I play it, so this recording is probably the closest to what I had in mind while writing it.

I’m no purist though, so if you play it, please play it how you want to. (But please, play it!)

- Scott Slapin
August 1, 2012, South Hadley, Massachusetts

"In a technical tour de force, all parts are played by Slapin and Tanya Solomon. I was glad to catch up with Recitative, a piece commissioned by the Primrose Competition in 2008 and widely played since; here it is eloquently performed by the composer in a recording from 2007, the ink as it were still fresh on the manuscript. Capricious, Slapin's witty homage to his late teacher Emanuel Vardi, was performed to great acclaim at the concluding concert of the Rochester Viola Congress...balance and ensemble are perfectly unanimous...Five Pieces for a Memorial Concert works very well as a succession of variously scored pieces of a mostly melancholic hue (they were written for a concert in memory of Slapin's mother who passed on in 2008). At the group's heart is the unaccompanied Elegy-Caprice, beautifully intoned by the composer, and the four part Postlude pays homage to his mother (a cellist) by alluding to the Sarabande from Bach's d minor Suite. Slapin's unashamedly tonal music, needless to say, fits the viola like the proverbial glove and, equally obviously, receives here ideal performances from both players in their various roles." - The Journal of the American Viola Society (Carlos Maria Solare, Volume 29, No. 1)

"The richness and seamlessness of Solomon and Slapin's sounds is impressive, and the lyrical phrasing reflects their intimate connection with the music. As for the composer? Slapin has an astounding gift for melody, and gives us many moments of exquisite sadness without allowing the music to become too lugubrious." - The Journal of the Canadian Viola Society (Sarah Ross, Autumn 2012)

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