Recalled to Life

“The shadows of the night were broad and black.  All through the cold and restless interval until dawn, they once more whispered in the ears of Mr. Jarvis Lorry—sitting opposite the buried man who had been dug out, and wondering what subtle powers were forever lost to him, and what were capable of restoration—the old inquiry:

‘I hope you car to be recalled to life?’
And the old answer:
‘I can’t say.’”
From A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Many works flounder in obscurity.  Which should be “recalled to life”, and which should be left “undiscovered”?  Often, it is an intensely personal decision.  The American Double has chosen as its selection criteria compositions written by established composers of the twentieth century whose works, for one reason or another, have fallen out of the repertoire.

Once selected, the works are then divided into two groups.  First, compositions by American composers who, while perhaps forgotten now, were established musicians in their time.  For instance, Quincy Porter was a Pulitzer Prize winner (1954), dean of New England Conservatory and on faculty at Yale University.  His Second Sonata, one his greatest works, was championed by Raphael Druian, longtime concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra

The second category consists of works by well-known composers whose works for violin and piano are overshadowed by their larger works.  Stravinsky’s Duo Concertante is an excellent example of this: because of its ungainly length and difficulty, it is a challenge to program, and thus is heard and recorded very sparingly.

The repertoire we have assembled includes the following works:

Bolcom, W.: Duo Fantasy
Britten, B.: Suite for Violin and Piano
Druckman, J.: Duo
Fine, I.: Violin Sonata
Harris, R.: Sonata for Violin and Piano
Hill, E.B.: Sonatina
Kirchner, L.: Duo
Laderman, E.: Duo
Mason, D.G.: Sonata in G-minor
Porter, Q.: Sonata no. 2
Smith, D.S.: Sonata
Stravinsky, I.: Duo Concertante

Interested?  Look for selections to be appearing on upcoming recordings and concerts given by the American Double!

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