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Florilegium / Petillot, Zilkha, Cory, Viola By Choice

Viola By Choice
Release Date: 08/17/2010 
Label:  Oasis   Catalog #: 5637664442   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Niccolò PaganiniJohannes BrahmsHans SittLowell Liebermann,   ... 
Performer:  Helen BravenecIsaac BustosAurelion PetillotJulia Cory,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Austin, Texas-based group Viola by Choice, on the surface, is one of a large number of young ensembles attempting to present classical music in an accessible way. There isn't a lot of verbiage in the presentation of the album, and what there is speaks breezily of the hope that it "will encourage all to awaken, embrace, and share their inner viola." The music is presented in small chunks, with single movments of larger pieces, and the graphic design is contemporary. All this tends to conceal the fact that the contents of the program are actually fresh and innovative. Viola by Choice's innovation is to augment the relatively small and well-trodden corpus of solo viola music with works, like the second movement of the Brahms Read more Sextet No. 1, Op. 18, that simply have unusually rich viola parts. The result is an unusual program of chamber music, ranging chronologically from Michael Haydn to the present day and diverse in every way, but held together by the presence of a consistent instrumental sound. The group plays off Brahms' fondness for a prominent viola in a song ensemble against vocal works by Frank Bridge and Libby Larsen for the combination of mezzo soprano, viola, and piano. Peter Stopschinski's Funky Vla (track 13) is a novelty in which the viola is picked like a guitar, and the novelty factor increases with a pair of humorous pastiches involving familiar Bach and Mozart works. These add little to the overall experience, but the live Austin audience (the program is effectively spliced together from several live concerts) seems to enjoy them. Essentially a light program, but one that lives up to its ambitions of originality.

- James Manheim, AllMusic Guide Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Guitar, Violin, Viola and Cello no 15 in A major, MS 42: Maestoso by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Helen Bravenec (Violin), Isaac Bustos (Guitar), Aurelion Petillot (Viola),
Julia Cory (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Length: 6 Minutes 28 Secs. 
2.
Songs (2) for Alto, Viola and Piano, Op. 91: no 1, Gestille Sehnsucht by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Elizabeth Petillot (), David Lyons (Piano), Aurelion Petillot (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 40 Secs. 
3.
Mazurka, for ensemble, Op. 132/2 by Hans Sitt
Performer:  Aurelion Petillot (Viola), Nikki Birdsong (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: Post-Romantic 
Length: 4 Minutes 26 Secs. 
4.
Struwwelpeterlieder: 1. Pauline & the Matches by Lowell Liebermann
Performer:  Aurelion Petillot (Viola), Dana Zenobi (), Nikki Birdsong (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 4 Minutes 32 Secs. 
5.
Sextet for Strings no 1 in B flat major, Op. 18: 2nd movement, Andante, ma moderato by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Jennifer Bourianoff (Violin), Martha Carapetyan (Viola), Aurelion Petillot (Viola),
Julia Cory (Cello), Leanne Zacharias (Cello), Alexis Ebbets (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859-1860; Germany 
Length: 10 Minutes 23 Secs. 
6.
Fun with Bach, for ensemble by Viola By Choice
Performer:  Aurelion Petillot (Viola), Julia Cory (Cello), Alexis Ebbets (Violin),
Jennifer Bourianoff (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 0 Minutes 59 Secs. 
7.
Escena andaluza, Op. 7: no 2, A la ventana by Joaquin Turina
Performer:  Jeffrey Wang (Cello), Martha Carapetyan (Viola), Michelle Schumann (Piano),
Aurelion Petillot (Viola), Alexis Ebbets (Violin), Jennifer Bourianoff (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: Modern 
Written: 1912 
Length: 6 Minutes 37 Secs. 
8.
Sifting Through the Ruins: 3. Don't Look for Me Anymore by Libby Larsen
Performer:  Michelle Schumann (Piano), Aurelion Petillot (Viola), Elizabeth Petillot ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
9.
Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp: 2nd movement, Interlude by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Elaine Barber (Harp), Francois Minaux (Flute), Aurelion Petillot (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 48 Secs. 
10.
Funky Vla, for ensemble by Peter Stopschinski
Performer:  Jeffrey Wang (Cello), Martha Carapetyan (Viola), Alexis Ebbets (Violin),
Jennifer Bourianoff (Violin), Peter Stopschinski (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
11.
Fun with Mozart, for ensemble by Viola By Choice
Performer:  Aurelion Petillot (Viola), Julia Cory (Cello), Alexis Ebbets (Violin),
Jennifer Bourianoff (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 0 Minutes 20 Secs. 
12.
Ave Regina caelorum, MH 140 by Michael Haydn
Performer:  Jennifer Bourianoff (Violin), Alexis Ebbets (Violin), Aurelion Petillot (Viola),
Martha Carapetyan (Viola), Jeffrey Wang (Cello), Gil Zilkha (Bass)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: Classical 
Written: 1770; Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 10 Minutes 18 Secs. 
13.
Pièce en forme de Habañera by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Nikki Birdsong (Piano), Aurelion Petillot (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
14.
Three Songs: 3. Music When Soft Voices Die by Frank Bridge
Performer:  Michelle Schumann (Piano), Elizabeth Petillot (), Aurelion Petillot (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viola By Choice
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1906-1907 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 

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