New York Viola Society Home | About NYVS | Concerts, Events and Recordings | Scholarships



The New York Viola Society Presents
A Concert of Early Works for Viola
and Works for Viola D'Amore

October 3, 2011, 8:00 p.m.

Church of Christ and St. Stephen's
(West 69th Street between Columbus and Broadway)

Admission: New York Viola Society members: free.
General Admission:$15. Seniors: $10. Students: $5.

Program

Part I - Works for Violas D'Amore

Sonata in A for 2 Violas d'amore and Basso
Franz Simon Schuchbauer (German, 1st half of the 18th cent.)
I. Preludio -- Allegro
III. Allegro
IV. Aria
V. Allegro -- Giga

Myron Rosenblum, viola d'amore
Susan Iodone, viola d'amore
Amy Camus, cello

Kleine Sonate for Viola d'amore and Piano, Op. 25, No. 2 (1922)
Paul Hindemith
I. MäBig schnell, Lustig
II. Sehr Langsam.
III. Sehr Lebhaft

David Cerutti, viola d’amore
Peggy Kampmeier, piano

Intermission

Part II - 17th-century Ensemble Music with Multiple Violas

Featuring Violists: Andrea Andros, Chiu-Chen Liu, Margaret Roberts, Ann Roggen, Louise Schulman, Alissa Smith, Jessica Troy
assisted by:
Judson Griffin and Margaret Ziemnicka, Violins
Katie Rietman, Cello
Patricia Ann Neely, Violone
Lionel Party, Harpsichord

2 VIOLAS:

Symphonia II à 5, Op. 2, Antwerp, 1647
Nicolaes a Kempis ca. 1600 — 1676

Sonata XIII à 5, manuscript 1666
Pavel Vejvanovsky ca. 1630s — 1693

Sonata à 2, 1697
Daniel Speer 1636 — 1707

Sonata XI à 5, Sonate, 1682
Johann Rosenmüller ca. 1619 — 1684

3 VIOLAS:

Sonata à 7, Op. 2, no. 9, Venice, 1651
Massimiliano Neri ca. 1621 — after 1670

Canzon à 4, Op. 6, no. 13, Venice, 1636
Giovanni Battista Buonamente d. 1642

Sonata II à 6, Sonatae tam aris quam aulis servientes, 1676
H. I. F. Biber 1644 — 1704

4 VIOLAS:

Lachrimae gementes, London, 1604
John Dowland

5 VIOLAS:

Sonata à 8 (manuscript)
David Pohle 1624 — 1695

6 VIOLAS:

Sonata XVII à 8, 2 Cori, La Terza, Sonate, 1608
Cesario Gussago fl. ca. 1599 — 1612

Canzon VIII à 10, C. 177, Symphoniae sacrae, 1597
Giovanni Gabrieli ca. 1550s — 1612

8 VIOLAS:

Canzon XVI à 12, 3 Cori, C. 209, Canzoni et Sonatae, 1615
Giovanni Gabrieli

Special thanks to Warren Hansen for the use of the Italian harpsichord

Piano Courtesy of Yamaha Inc.


About the Performers:

Andrea Andros acts as concertmaster of the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, the NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players, and performs regularly with NY Grand Opera, American Ballet Theater, and the Bethlehem Bach Choir. Ms. Andros is also among the leading performers of period instruments on the East coast, and has been seen with the Boston Early Music Festival, Artek, Four Nations Ensemble, Handel and Haydn Society, and the Dryden Ensemble.

Amy Camus, cellist, is an active performer in New York and a founding member of the Cremona String Quartet which toured the Northeast for 17 years during which they performed many works of 19th-century American composers, a number of world premieres and complete cycles of the Beethoven and Bartok quartets. She performs with the Long Island Philharmonic, the Queens Symphony Orchestra, the New York Grand Opera and the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. Ms. Camus is on the faculty of Nassau Community College where she teaches cello and coaches chamber music and also at Queensborough Community College, CUNY where she teaches music history and opera.

David Cerutti performs internationally as violist and violist d'amore, and is co-principal violist with the Orchestra of St. Luke's and member of the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble. He appears regularly with The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, has been a guest soloist at Lincoln Center for The Chamber Music Society's Double Exposure series, and is a regular participant in the Helicon Concert Series. He is a founding member of Trigon, former member of Smithson String Quartet and has been a guest artist with The Brentano String Quartet and The Cygnus Ensemble, and is a regular soloist with The Little Orchestra Society of New York. Mr. Cerutti has collaborated with members of Ensemble Archibudelli on a recording of the Mendelssohn and Gade String Octets performing on Stradivarius instruments for the Sony Classical label, and his recordings of the Brahms G Major Sextett and Schoenberg's Verklaerte Nacht will be available this spring on the Meyer Media label.

Judson Griffin came to play period instruments in 1979 through the influence of harpsichordist Albert Fuller. He serves as concertmaster and principal player with orchestras in New York and elsewhere, while performing as chamber musician and concerto soloist with groups like Amor Artis, the American Classical Orchestra, Florida Pro Musica, Baltimore Pro Musica Rara, and New Trinity Baroque. He was Music Director of the Connecticut Music Festival from 2000 to 2007, conducting music from Gabrieli through operas of Vivaldi and Mozart, researching and creating new editions, writing program notes, and providing translations from Latin, Italian, French, and German. Mr. Griffin holds a doctorate from The Juilliard School.

Susan Iodone, violist, viola d'amore player, viol player and recorder player is a musician of wide abilities whose activities include performing at the Metropolitan Museum with Victoria de los Angeles, touring Europe with Meredith Monk's opera Atlas, recording Klezmer music with Giora Feidman, playing sopranino recorder at the Metropolitan Opera and viola d'amore with the New York Philharmonic. She has appeared with many groups, including the Washington Bach Consort, the Bethlehem Bach Festival, Classical Band, the New York Consort of Viols, the Waverly Consort and for many years has been the violist with the Bach Vespers series at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Susan's Hollywood credits include performing in the soundtracks of the Coen Brothers remake of The Ladykillers and Heath Ledger's Casanova.

Since receiving her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree, pianist Margaret Kampmeier has performed in hundreds of concerts, presented numerous premières and recorded extensively. She has performed across the United States of America, in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia, and is active as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral keyboardist and teacher of piano. She is a founding member of the New Millenium Ensemble, a mixed chamber group which won the 1995 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award and released its début CD in January of 1998. Ms Kampmeier has appeared as guest artist with the Kronos Quartet, performs regularly with the Orchestra of St Lukes’s and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and has appeared often as guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Active as an educator, Ms Kampmeier teaches at Princeton University and has presented forums on music of women composers and contemporary techniques. As a recording artist, Ms Kampmeier can be heard on Centaur, CRI, Koch, Nonesuch and Bridge labels. Festival appearances include Caramoor, Vancouver Recital Society, Bard and Tanglewood. Margaret Kampmeier holds degrees from Eastman School of Music and the State university of New York at Stony Brook, where she studied with Gilbert Kalish.

Chiu-Chen Liu received the Roman Totenberg Scholarship at Kneisel Hall Music Festival, F&H Herman Scholarship at Mannes College of Music, and LCU Grant for outstanding students in the Art at New School University. An active chamber musician, Ms. Liu has performed at Weill Recital Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, New-York Historical Society, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Morgan Library. She has collaborated with musicians such as Victor Rosenbaum, Marc Ponthus, Eriko Sato and Daniel Phillips; appeared with Orchestra of St. Luke's, American chamber music ensemble and members form the Orpheus chamber orchestra. Liu was recently appointed as the principal viola for the Sarasota Opera.

Patricia Ann Neely (violone, viola da gamba, vielle, baroque bass) has performed with early music ensembles in the US, Europe, and Asia, including The Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, American Classical Orchestra, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Glimmerglass Opera, New York Collegium, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Sequentia, Rheinische Kantorei Köln, Early Music New York, Bach Vespers, Washington National Cathedral, The Washington Bach Consort, and was a founding member of Parthenia. She teaches double bass and recorder at The Brearley School in New York and has taught at the Amherst Early Music Festival and the VDGSA Conclaves. Ms. Neely has recorded for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Erato, Arabseque, Classic Masters, and Hollywood.

Lionel Party is one of the leading harpsichordists of his generation. He has performed in major halls in North and South America and in Europe in recital, in chamber music, and as orchestral soloist. He is the harpsichordist of The New York Philharmonic, and is on the faculty at The Juilliard School in New York and at The Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. He recently formed the baroque ensemble La Mela di Newton which has garnered praise for its early concerts. With many recordings to his credit, his most recent album is a CD of music of Scarlatti, which is available at Cdbaby.com.

Katie Rietman has performed as a baroque cellist in 19 countries and has made over 40 CD recordings. She is currently living in New York City, where she plays with groups such as the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, the Clarion Society, Rebel, St. Thomas Boys' Choir, and the Grand Tour. She wanted to be a violist in high school for at least a week, and all of her friends are violists so she is thrilled to be able to take part in this concert with as many baroque violas as one could ever hope for.

Margaret Zufall Roberts is the Artistic Director of ASTA/NJ Chamber Music Institute. She is an active board member and past president of the NJ Chapter of the American String Teachers Association. Ms. Roberts has music degrees from Ohio University and Fairleigh Dickenson University, and has performed in many orchestras and chamber ensembles from Los Angeles to Vienna, including the NJ Symphony and the Ravina Quartet. Having taught in several colleges, public and private schools, and music schools, she is currently a faculty member of Montclair State University John J. Cali School of Music, and is on the staff of the Wharton Music Center.

Violist Ann Roggen is a member of the Orchestra of St. Luke's and has recorded extensively for the Telarc, Sony and Deutsche Gramaphone recording labels. She maintains an active and vital studio at William Paterson University where she is professor of viola, chamber music and orchestral studies. As a member of the Bennington and Vassar College faculties,she has had great success in developing interdisciplinary cultural events designed to combine music with literature, history, dance and language in performance. Ann is an avid researcher of unique and unusual repertoire for the viola in combination with other instruments and voice. In her role as President of the New York Viola Society, she has been successful in creating numerous performance opportunities in New York City for dedicated violists to explore this repertoire, both old and new. In the fall of 2008, she was elected to the national board of the American Viola Society. A few of Ms.Roggen's recent creations include an evening featuring the violists of the London Symphony Orchestra,a pair of concerts focusing on viola music by film composers,as well as a presentation at the Pen and Brush devoted to the life and works of composer Rebecca Clarke. A highlight of Ann's current season is a project called "Entartete Musik",a series of concerts for viola,saxophone and piano that explore the music of composers suppressed by the Third Reich in the 1093's-1940's. Highlights of recent seasons include concerto performances with the Zagreb Chamber Orchestra (Croatia), as well as recitals and master classes under the auspices of the American Cultural Centres in Zagreb and Vilnius, Lithuania. Ms. Roggen received her musical training at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and the Juilliard School.

Myron Rosenblum, studied viola with Walter Trampler, Lillian Fuchs and William Primrose and viola d'amore with Karl Stumpf. He had a Fulbright Grant to Vienna to study the history and performance of the viola d'amore and also is the author of the article "Viola d'amore" in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He has performed with many groups in the NYC area, including Clarion Concerts, the American Opera Society, Little Orchestra Society, the New York Consort of Viols, New York Grand Opera, the New York City Opera, Music in Our Time, St. Caecilia Chorus and outside New York in the Brattleboro Music Festival, the Bethlehem Bach Festival, the Richmond Symphony, Mohawk Trail Concerts, the Boston Pops Tour Orchestra and the Greenwich Quartet. He was the founder and first president of the American Viola Society and is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Viola d'amore Society of America. He has edited and had published music for viola, viola d'amore and chamber works, the most recent a Serenata for violin, 2 violas and cello by Ignace Pleyel.

Louise Schulman is a founding member and principal viola of the Orchestra of St. Lukes and the St. Lukes Chamber Ensemble. She also is active in the field of early music, performing on vielle, lute, viola d'amore, baroque viola and violin. She has been on the performing and coaching staff of the Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center at Wellesley College since 1975. Her CD "An Italian in Vienna," duos for viola and guitar by Mauro Giuliani with guitarist Bill Zito, has just been released world-wide on the Sono Luminus label.

Alissa Smith holds music degrees form the Australian National University and the Juilliard School. Her chamber music experience has included recitals at Carnegie Hall; performances at the Park City, Aspen, Bravo! Colorado, Steamboat Springs, and Verbier music festivals; and a residency with the Emerson String Quartet. As a baroque violist, Alissa has appeared with The Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Concert Royal, The New York Collegium, Tempesta di Mare, Apollos Fire, the San Francisco Bach Choir, and the Magnolia Baroque Festival. Additionally, she has performed with the Houston and American Symphony Orchestras, KlangforumWien and The Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Jessica Troy has toured with the Mark Morris Dance Group since 1998, including performances with Yo-Yo Ma across the US and Japan. Baroque ensembles she performs with include the Dodd String Quartet, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Opera Lafayette, and the Washington National Cathedral. A member of the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and the Brooklyn and Westchester Philharmonics, she performs frequently with the New York City Opera and Mostly Mozart Festival. A participant at many illustrious festivals, she can be heard on Marlboro's 50th anniversary CD.

Margaret Ziemnicka, with a background in piano and choral singing, majored in violin and sound recording at the Chopin Conservatory in her native Poland. At McGill University in Montreal, where she received a Master's Degree, Ms. Ziemnicka was introduced to baroque violin. She has appeared with Atlanta's New Trinity Baroque; in New York with Concert Royal, AmorArtis, the American Classical Orchestra, Early Music New York, REBEL, and Sinfonia NY; in Washington at the National Cathedra, Kennedy Center, and with the Bach Consort; and at Musica nel chiostro in Grosseto, Italy.

About the Music:

A standard music history trope asserts that Renaissance music, at least in its 16th-century form as exemplified by the madrigal, favored a texture of 5 or 6 equal voices; the Baroque revolution, in part as an attempt to revive ancient Greek monody and in part as a reaction against the prevailing thick texture, stripped music down to one or a pair of treble voices and supporting bass. This manifested in instrumental music as the trio sonata...

This scenario is fine as far as it goes, but it does not take into account the fact that textures with many more or less equal inner voices — the instrumental analog to the madrigal — persisted throughout the 17th century. It took a broader change in taste – the Bolognese orchestral sound in the 1670s and 80s, and the galant style in the early 18th century – for the polarized treble/ bass texture to predominate. The most prevalent ensemble is that of 5 parts, i.e. 2 violins, 2 violas, bass, and basso continuo, but 6-part pieces, with 3 violas, are also far from scarce, while there is a smattering of pieces with more viola parts. The 5- and 6-part textures were in use throughout Europe through the end of the 17th century. Thereafter, with a few exceptions – Albinoni wrote a fair amount of fine music with 2 viola parts, and there are 4 excellent sonatas in 5 parts by Telemann – viola parts were reduced to one, and that part is often an uninspired filler (Vivaldi's and Handel's viola parts are notoriously dull) or even optional.

There exists a tremendous amount of 17th-century ensemble music with two or more specified viola parts. Composers of significant music not included on this program include Biagio Marini, Francesco Usper, Gabriele Usper, Priuli, Picchi, Salamone Rossi, Lorenzo Allegri, Cavalli, Pietro Andrea Ziani, Uccellini, Legrenzi, Cazzati, Giovanni Maria Bononcini, Giovanni Battista Vitali, Giovanni Valentini, Bertali, Schein, Kindermann, Vierdanck, Johann Staden, Schmelzer, Georg Muffat, Pachelbel, Pezel, Finger, Furchheim, Strungk, Thieme, Dietrich Becker, and Theile, to name only the most prominent. Sadly, as is the case with all music from this period, more has been lost over the centuries than remains.

Violin-family music and sonatas originated in Italy, of course. The earliest composers were Italian, but there was a rapid dissemination, as Italians (e.g. Buonamente and Neri) brought their skills to German-speaking lands, and northerners went to Venice to study with Gabrieli. Rosenmüller also spent much of his career in Venice. Multivoice music was in vogue throughout Europe: Biber worked with Vejvanovsky (a Czech) in Bohemia before moving to Salzburg; Kempis worked in Brussels and Antwerp; Dowland spent much of his career in Denmark.

The bulk of the music was meant for use in church, but there is also dance music, theater music, and chamber music for domestic recreation. Much ink has been spilled distinguishing between canzona, sonata, sinfonia, and other titles; the differences are likely more related to function than to form or content. Sinfonia, for example, usually refers to a piece intended to be used as a prelude to a vocal work – but sonata is also used this way, besides denoting a piece to be used in church in lieu of a sung Mass.

From the beginnings of playing instruments in consorts ca. 1490, the ranges of the individual parts tended to match those of the human voice – naturally so, since much of what was played was adapted from vocal music – and, while those voices ranged from soprano to bass, the majority of them were in the alto and tenor ranges. A 5-part violin band might well comprise 1 violin, 3 violas, and 1 bass. The instrumental canzonas of Gabrieli and his followers feature many mid-range voices. Where instruments are not specified, choices include viols, violas, and trombones (for example, tromboni o viole da braccio). Determining which instruments to use by means of nomenclature can be misleading, as terminology is often vague or overlapping, complicated by regional differences. In Venice, for example, viola usually refers to a bass instrument, and our viola is called violetta. Otherwise viola may be a generic term for any stringed instrument, or it (or violino) may indicate a violin-family instrument of any range, whether or not da braccio is specified. Notwithstanding, while the later pieces on this program — by Kempis, Vejvanovsky, Rosenmüller, Neri, Biber, and Pohle — could possibly be played on viols or trombones, they are undisputedly intended for instruments of the violin family.

There remains the question of which instrument to assign to each individual voice, once the decision has been made (whether by performer or composer) to use violas. The primary determining factor is range. On early instruments all strings were of gut, and realizing a satisfactory response on all four strings was problematic. Violin music generally avoided the bottom string. Violas were built in various sizes in order to cover the entire compass: smaller instruments often restricted to the top strings, mid-sized instruments to play on the middle strings, and large ones to cover the bottom. The tenor violas coould be extremely large: examples (by Stradivari, among others) as large as 19 inches are known. The invention and adoption of the overspun string (i.e., gut covered with wire) beginning, probably in Bologna, in the 1660s and 70s, solidified the tone of the lowest string of each instrument. (Perhaps most importantly, it allowed creation of the violoncello, a new instrument small enough to manage as a solo instrument, yet with a full bass compass.) From this point the sizes of the instruments became more restricted — if the viola less so. In any event viola alta and viola tenore continued to be indicated in music (sometimes the tenor used alone) for at least another generation. The contrast in tone was evidently valued.

High viola parts can be mistaken for violin parts. The French opera orchestra disposed of strings in 5 parts, the 3 middle being viola parts. Viewing this through modern-orchestral glasses creates a grotesque distortion by assigning the first viola (haut-contre) to second violins, since it lies comfortably in that range, resulting in too many players of the wrong instrument on this part. In modern editions many 6-voice sonatas have had the first viola part assigned to a third violin, and the third viola part to a cello; the Pohle sonata, clearly scored for 2 violins and 5 violas, has been recast for 4 violins and 3 violas.

Virtuosity is almost entirely absent in these viola parts. That would have to wait for Stamitz, Mozart, et al. after 1750. But the visceral impact of hearing the viola in its glory as a viola, not as a violin manqué, ought to be ample compensation.

— Judson Griffin


NEW YORK VIOLA SOCIETY

Return to Top of Page