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  • Label: Affetto Records
  • UPC: 888295729871
  • Item #: 2090435X
  • Release Date: 9/21/2018
Price: $15.80
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Providence on CD

The germ of the concept of this album for Ellen Rose, the recently retired first chair violist of the Dallas Symphony, and Kristin Ditlow, conductor, piano accompanist extraordinaire and vocal coach, came due to a musician-colleague's invitation to the duo to perform during the 2012-2013 season at the National Theater in Kunming, China, and the multi-city tour formed around that. The three-week tour of Beijing, Shanghai, and Kunming became the framework represented by this duo's debut album name, Providence. What followed immediately was the weaving together of three continents and years of planning out of the repertoire of that tour. Boccherini's Sonata No. 5 in A Major is representative of the composer's bringing violincello writing into more melodic and virtuosic milieu, here represented so wonderfully by a viola. Vaughan Williams' "Romance" is among several pieces discovered after the composer had passed, but thought to have been composed in 1914. "Whither Must I Wander", originally for piano and Baritone from his song cycle Songs of Travel, was arranged for the duo on this album by Ellen Rose and Kristin Ditlow, and is therefore a premiere recording. Enescu's "Concertpiece" is a combination of his native Romania and Paris where he lived much of his life, with traces of Debussy and French impressionists and the theme from a lively Romanian folk dance. Messiaen's "Louange" uses religious quotes as well as bird calls, Messiaen being both a devout Catholic and an enthusiastic ornithologist. Rebecca Clarke's Sonata was the largest work on the China tour, her best-known work, and was written for a 1919 competition, in which she tied Ernest Bloch for first place with it's combination of whole tone, octatonic and pentatonic scales as well as piano and string writing which shows great admiration for Debussy. Ending the album with a Puccini aria from Tosca coincides with using this piece as the encore from the China tour. There is no doubt that this album musically soothes and excites the soul with a vast combination of exquisite musical textures and stunning performances!

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