Sunday, November 8, 2009

CMA: Viva & Gala: Garth Knox Viola d'amore

Hume (arr. Knox): Pavane (1605) for viola d'amore
Ariosti: Prima Lezione (1720) for viola d'amore and cello
Knox: Malor me bat (2004) for viola d'amore and cello
Sciarrino: Notturni brillanti for viola
Knox: Viola Spaces for viola and cello
Marais: Les Folies d'Espagne (1685) for viola d'amore and cello
Traditional (arr. Knox): Celtic Melodies for viola d'amore and cello

A complete spur of the moment decision lead me from Mixon Hall at CIM to Plymouth Unitarian church in Shaker Heights for this evening's "Viva and Gala Around Town" performance featuring Garth Knox and his viola d'amore. I was interested for one because unlike a "normal" violin, viola, or cello which each have four strings, the viola d'amore has 14, 7 of which are played and the remaining 7 are "sympathetic" and are not directly played but instead resonate.

The music was interesting and Mr. Knox's commentary and explanation was both on point and informative. I believe Prima Lezione was may favorite piece; the three-turned-four movements of Viola Spaces certainly featured some unusual playing methods and some equally unusual sounds, and I'm torn between calling "Nine Fingers" or "One Finger" my favorite movement from that work.

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