Impassioned Dream (Viola Part)


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Portrait of the Viola

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In addition to many effects used both in the Bach and Paganini works double stops, arpeggiated chords, tenths , I included a scale in unisons, which I believe adds a rather eerie effect to the music. My mother died in August of that year following a long battle with cancer right before I was to begin a busy season playing in the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, and it was during these first couple months of the season that I was able to write this music. My mother was a cellist who played in the American Symphony under Leopold Stokowski, Mostly Mozart, the New Jersey Symphony among many other ensembles, and she was a founding member of the Hunterdon Chamber Players in New Jersey, which regularly performed at the church in which her memorial concert was held.

Brief comments about each individual piece: 1. Fragments of it can be heard on the soundtrack of the final scenes of the award-winning docudrama Secret Life, Secret Death. It has since been widely performed throughout the US and even in Brazil! Tanya and I were joined by flautist Diana Charos to perform Intermezzo at the memorial concert. The more Renaissance-like pizzicato section in the middle provides a nice contrast to all of the bowed string playing up until this point in the concert.

Impassioned Dream (Viola Part) - Viola Sheet Music by Juventino Rosas

It has since been performed for other commemorations often in its solo viola and viola ensemble version. It was the final piece on the concert, and as you can hear, it doesn't really end. At a certain point, the audience realized it was over and walked out in silence.


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The Four Seasons of New England 20 minutes - 1. Marvin's Leitmotif is based on a quote from what might be the most American of American folk tunes 'Turkey in the Straw' and is initially used in a way that sounds like Marvin pecking around in straw. Marvin chases the other turkeys, struts proudly at times, but eventually tires himself out and settles down for a nap. This is an opportunity for the other birds to make their introductions: First the white-throated sparrow begins to sing, followed by a mourning dove.

Then either two dark-eyed juncos or a pair of woodpeckers show up having an argument, while a black-capped chickadee sings out over them. Eventually all tunes come together in a springtime party for the birds. Except in the case of the turkey, whose call isn't so musical sorry, Marvin , all birds are represented by their own actual music, as heard in our corner of western Massachusetts and many other places in North America as well.

I'll add that for a composer, being able to steal bird melodies without having to pay any royalties was nothing short of a dream. They should unionize. In the middle, it stops to sell sugary desserts to children, while bugs begin to swarm and follow the truck around. The bugs continue to accompany the truck to its next destination.

It could be accurate to say that other composers have viewed summer more positively than I do. Geese are heard intermittently flying south for the winter. During the early months of , I stared out of my music studio into bleak grayness and snow. It was mostly very still, yet every once in a while a gust of wind would come by and blow around a few dead twigs and leaves. I hope to share some of this New England Winter bleakness with you now through this music. This final excursion is only five minutes, so don't worry, later you can go outside and enjoy nicer weather.

Unless your weather is equally as bleak right now, in which case, sorry. So it might also come as a surprise that I wrote this original composition also available in that book of arrangements which references several of the most-famous Christmas carols as well as a couple Hanukkah tunes. Hey, music is music, and if Irving Berlin could do it In any case, as this music is ubiquitous in the US for about three months of the year, I felt in some way it was my own as well. I hope you enjoy listening for all the quotations of carols, and I assume if you're hearing this on a concert, I'll wish you a Merry Christmas!

If it's not that time of year, this was a really odd choice for your program, but I hope you enjoy it anyway! I performed it often with my mother on recitals, and while audiences always liked it, I started noticing a problem: In the more urban areas, audiences didn't know what a hayseed was an old-fashioned term for hillbilly , and in more rural areas, audiences didn't know what a hassid was a type of ultra-Orthodox Jew.

Having had both in various wings of my extended family, for me it was a fun way to point out the similarities of two peoples who seem pretty far apart. For example, both wear hats and like to dance. I'm not too sure there's much more than that, though. Though I can crudely enter my compositions into notation software I write with pencil and paper , the work of refining all of it falls to Tanya, which can sometimes cause her to become ill-tempered.


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The fault is entirely mine. The solution to the ill-temperedness can be found in the title of another piece I wrote called The Well-Tempered Beer. In any case, for those unfamiliar with the music of Bach, it's all a take off on the title of The Well-Tempered Clavier. I hope you enjoy feeling the irritation with my sloppy notation-entering practices in the piece and will have great empathy for Tanya. Each movement is meant to give each player the opportunity both to show off what they can do and to give the audience the chance to become acquainted with the sound and range of each instrument.

As the title would suggest, I wrote the piece with the idea that it would be used as educational for in-school and other similar demonstrations. He played in the Catskill Mountains when he was younger and often improvised Jewish-sounding melodies on his doublebass while warming up, which is the basis for the beginning and end of this short piece.

Viola Davis on race and democracy in ASU lecture | [email protected]

The middle section is based on the Morse Code I frequently heard growing up. It's based on a piece I had written for an orchestration class while attending the Manhattan School of Music, though I developed the material much further for this version. My mother and I recorded it twice, the last time in , a year before she died,, for the CD Reflection.

I wrote it specifically for the level of the students involved, and I also wanted it to be educational for the audience of their fellow students, so it begins in the Renaissance era with a hymn , and takes the listener through various important eras: Baroque a fugue , Classical, Romantic, and finally ends with a 20th Century reinterpretation of the opening hymn. This piece was later reworked to be included in the one-act viola opera I wrote called "Violacentrism, the Opera".

It was the only piece I had ever written that he didn't want to tinker with a bit which was his job! It's become one of my most performed pieces, and many audience members acquainted with Richard Lane's style have asked me whether I was purposefully writing in his musical language. No, it just came naturally!

Richard Lane was a great teacher, mentor, friend, and colleague he was also a pianist. Tanya and I recorded the Nocturne in its original duo form for the album Reflection, and we can also be heard playing it during the final scenes of the award-winning docudrama Secret Life, Secret Death. I deliberately included elements of Bram's writings and ideas in the composition of this work two people or in this case instruments speaking at the same time to create an overall effect different from their individual parts , and I hinted at Bram's love for Bach with a quote from the "al riverso" fugue subject from the Third Violin Sonata.

I struggled with the title. The elements in the piece are, to my mind, clearly American in the beginning, and Russian afterward. However, I'm better at writing the music than with coming up with titles! So we kept it general with Prelude. In any case, the piece makes for a fun beginning to a recital, and it even works well as an encore. Though the name Prelude wouldn't suggest that. I'll try harder next time. The opera is about Cremonus, God of the Viola, who more than five-hundred years ago invented this great musical instrument that He bestowed upon mankind.

The Raging Waves of Babylon adds a touch of religious-sounding legitimacy to such an epic tale In any case, at this point in the opera, Cremonus is upset at mankind for its tepid response to the Viola, and He's causing wind gusts upon the high seas. Hey, it's not any more improbable than most opera story lines. Beginning soon afterward, the piece has appeared each year as one of two solo auditions pieces for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble at the Aspen Music Festival.

As it was meant as a competition piece, I deliberately made it difficult to play technically including many awkward double stops high up, some tenths, and at the end a unison stretch. The album starts out however before the musicians have even awakened with 'Series of Nightmares After a Day of Gigs', and therefore is a collection of the previous day's musical quotes in dream form.

While the music is original, quotes from Pachelbel's Canon which in minor sounds like the opening from Mahler's First Symphony , Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, and Massenet's Meditation will be obvious to anyone familiar with the music, as will be the Torah blessings and Klezmer music from the previous day's bar mitzvah.

Being a freelance musician isn't easy. The piece covers a wide range of styles, and no one can actually agree on what they are.

One review compared the piece to a John Denver tune! Online there was quite a debate as to whether the middle section sounded Spanish, Russian or something else entirely. Enjoy it, whatever your take may be! It's meant simply to show off the sound of the viola in all its ranges, set against a backdrop of silence.


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  • Sonata form has had its variations over the centuries, but this version follows a pretty conventional longer first movement that's reasonably quick, a slow second movement, and a fast third movement after a recap of the opening of the first movement. What may be unexpected is a fugue in the third movement, but I don't like being entirely predictable. Kaila and Mike are married, and Kaila is an excellent, professional violinist.

    Viola Davis Recounts the Barriers She’s Faced in Hollywood (Exclusive Clip)

    ASU is committed to honesty and integrity as central to our knowledge enterprise, and to the educational experience of every ASU student. On the eve of an Academy Awards marked by the OscarsSoWhite protest, actress Viola Davis — whose impassioned speech about opportunity for women of color at the Emmys stirred many reactions — spoke about obstacles, racism and significance Saturday as part of an Arizona State University lecture.

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    Davis — the Delivering Democracy Distinguished Lecturer, a program of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at ASU — went on to reflect on her tough childhood and the obstacles she was able to overcome with the help of such philanthropic programs as Upward Bound. The worst part is when you start believing them. ASU's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy was founded in by associate professor of history Matthew Whitaker with the goal of raising awareness around issues related to race and democracy as a way to solve social-justice issues.

    When choosing a speaker — past speakers include journalist Anderson Cooper and actor Forest Whitaker — the center looks at what's happening in the world, and the criticisms over the Academy Awards' lack of diversity in its top categories made Davis' appearance especially timely. When the topic of the Oscars came up, Davis told Covington she would not be attending but that it had nothing to do with the boycott.

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