Jacob Avshalomov; Frank La Rocca
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL567     Release Date: 2011-07-15
Daniel Avshalomov, viola; Robert Macdonald, piano; Lawrence Granger, cello; Eric Pritchard, violin; Paul Yarbrough, viola; Sandy Wilson, cello

Over the years I've felt glimmerings of pre-destiny in that the Sonatine (1947), my first-published work, dedicated to my wife Doris, was somehow intended for my son, Daniel, long before he was born. He has played it on and off since he was fifteen, and one of the sweetest occasions was a surprise bon voyage performed at a Tully Hall midday music-hour the day before we sailed to Europe on sabbatical...

I am pleased to find that after forty-five years there seems nothing to change in diction or form beyond a brief cut in the finale which I made years ago.

Evocations was begun in the summer of 1947 while I was studying with Copland at Tanglewood. Its original medium was the clarinet. Following tradition, I made an alternate version for both these works —viola for clarinet, and vice versa. Evocations has the further dimension of an orchestral setting which serves only the clarinet, not the viola...

I found nothing substantive to change in Evocations, either; but experience did show me how to simplify the barring which should ease the way for performances ahead. And, of course, some special variants for the viola are the result of my son Daniel's fine Italian hand. Other than that, these smooth-faced children of my youth now sally forth into the world again without any of the character-lines my own visage has earned in the intervening years.
—Jacob Avshalomov

Written as a large one-movement work, String Trio (1981) is divided into two major, contrasting sections. The first, Giocoso, is rhythmically active, with sharp, angular lines and dense chordal passages. The second, Lamentoso, is darkly lyrical and more contrapuntal in texture. The Giocoso owes its agitated character to the discontinuities that arise from numerous foreshadowings of the Lamentoso, including one extended interruption marked "Intermezzo," characterized by the poignant duet in thirds for the violin and viola. These thirds provide not only expressive focus, but also reveal clearly the work's underlying pitch structure—an interlocking sequence of alternating major and minor thirds.

The first phrase pair of the piece already reflects the discontinuities to come, and the conflict is worked out until the Lamentoso ultimately prevails.

Secret Thoughts (1986), was written to explore the instrument's great expressive potential, an approach that inspired, in certain sections, music of a highly personal, even private nature—hence the title. Perhaps because its range encompasses that of the human voice, the 'cello has always been, for me, the most expressive and intimate of instruments.
—Frank La Rocca



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Various Artists

Jacob Avshalomov; Frank La Rocca

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Track Listing

Sonatine: I. Allegro appassionato
Jacob Avshalomov
Buy
Sonatine: II. Lento
Jacob Avshalomov
Buy
Sonatine: III. Allegro con brio
Jacob Avshalomov
Buy
Evocations: I. Allegro giocoso
Jacob Avshalomov
Buy
Evocations: II. Lento
Jacob Avshalomov
Buy
Evocations: III. Allegro con grazia
Jacob Avshalomov
Buy
Secret Thoughts
Frank La Rocca
Buy
String Trio
Frank La Rocca
Buy