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American Music For Viola & Piano / Wheeler, Tomfohrde


Release Date: 08/10/1995 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 141   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George RochbergPaul CrestonBernhard HeidenElliott Carter
Performer:  Lawrence WheelerRuth Tomfohrde
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"This disc includes music by some of the most respected composers in 20th Century American music. Their works for viola are not too well known, but each makes a characteristic impression...Wheeler is a gutsy violist whose musicality is not in question...."

-- American Record Guide

Considered a magnificent instrument for chamber music since the 18th century, the viola nevertheless had difficulty establishing itself as a solo instrument. Its rich, sandy tone and middle range, indeed the very qualities that make it an ideal chamber music partner, historically deterred composers from placing the viola in the spotlight. It has only been in the 20th century that the viola has come into its own as a solo
Read more instrument. This change has been wrought by contemporary composers searching for new timbres to explore, as well as by exceptional performs whose commissions and performances inspired dozens of composers to view the viola as a viable solo instrument. This trend has been especially well-developed in the United States and the four works for viola and piano on this disc exemplify the expressive range of which the viola is capable. Lawrence Wheeler is a professor at the University of Houston School of Music. Principal Violist of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, he is former Principal Violist of the Pittsburgh Symphony and has been Co-Principal of the Minnesota Orchestra and guest Principal with the Dallas and Houston Symphonies. A graduate of Juilliard, his teachers have included Walter Trampler and Leonard Mogill.
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Works on This Recording

1. Sonata for Viola and Piano by George Rochberg
Performer:  Lawrence Wheeler (Viola), Ruth Tomfohrde (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; USA 
Length: 16 Minutes 39 Secs. 
2. Suite for Viola and Piano, Op. 13 by Paul Creston
Performer:  Ruth Tomfohrde (Piano), Lawrence Wheeler (Viola)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; USA 
Length: 13 Minutes 55 Secs. 
3. Sonata for Viola and Piano by Bernhard Heiden
Performer:  Ruth Tomfohrde (Piano), Lawrence Wheeler (Viola)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; USA 
Length: 21 Minutes 25 Secs. 
4. Elegy for Viola and Piano by Elliott Carter
Performer:  Ruth Tomfohrde (Piano), Lawrence Wheeler (Viola)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 55 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Viola Sonata: I. Allegro moderato
Viola Sonata: II. Adagio lamentoso
Viola Sonata: III. Fantasia: Epilogue, allegro moderato, ma un poco parlando
Suite for Viola and Piano, Op. 13: I. Prelude
Suite for Viola and Piano, Op. 13: II. Caprice
Suite for Viola and Piano, Op. 13: III. Air
Suite for Viola and Piano, Op. 13: IV. Tarantella
Viola Sonata: I. Allegro moderato
Viola Sonata: II. Andante sostenuto - Poco piu mosso - Adagio
Viola Sonata: III. Vivace, ma non troppo
Viola Sonata: IV. Lento - Allegro molto - Lento - Allegro vivace
Elegy (version for viola and piano)

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