GEORGE ROCHBERG (1918-2005): Viola Sonata, ATAR ARAD (b.1945): Caprice Four (George) for Solo Viola, LUCIANO BERIO (1925-2003): Black is the color... for Mezzo-Soprano, Viola and Harp, Naturale (su melodie siciliane) for Viola, Percussion and Recorded Voice, SHULAMIT RAN (b.1949): Perfect Storm for Solo Viola.
Catalogue Number: 11R064
Label: Sono Luminus
Description: The completely new piece here is Ran's extended viola solo, a series of elaborations, somewhere between variations and ritornello form, based on the folk melody used by Berio in 'Black is the color of my true love's hair' from his 1964 Folksongs. Ran takes this memorable little melodic motif, harmonised tonally but with great originality in the original, and constructs a series of episodes which diverge considerably in temperament - dance-like, intense, even ferocious - from the gentle, sentimental simplicity of the folk song while always circling back to it. Arad's Caprice is an homage to Rochberg, played on the G (for George) string, and quoting his sonata, a fine work in Rochberg's best neo-romantic style, with his distinctively bold extended use of tonality. Berio's relatively rarely heard Naturale, with its unmodified field recording of a raw Sicilian folk song, central viola solo, also derived from folk material but transmuted into meticulously notated concert terms, and spare, ironic post-modern commentary from the percussion, is a logical and appealing coupling. Melia Watras (viola), Winston Choi (piano), Galia Arad (voice), Valerie Muzzolini Gordon (harp), Matthew Kocmieroski (percussion).