On Thursday, March 11th and Friday, March 12th Duo Revirado (Thomas Yee, Violin, Jose Rodriguez, Guitar) and I will present a concert that will feature a Paganini Sonata for Guitar and Violin, Piazolla’s History of the Tango, Terry Riley’s Desert Songs and the world premiere my latest composition, Kinneret.
Thomas Yee asked me to compose a piece for guitar and violin a few months ago. The guitar poses a mysterious challenge to non-guitarist composers, with its funny tuning, cumbersome frets, and its players’ propensity towards idiomatic fingering patterns. Therefore, I have been consulting with guitarist Jose, and at times giving him the freedom to arpeggiation at will, given parameters of mood, speed, and shape.
The prospect of an upcoming performance always accelerates my compositional process and I quickly came up with a set of contrasting ideas—some of middle eastern inspiration with Oud-like patterns in the guitar, others are melodic and almost cheesy, balanced by fierce runs and a recurring “spike” motive in which either the guitar or violin sharply attacks a wide melodic leap then quickly decays. In transitory sections, freely chromatic harmony and irregular rhythms add tension. These ideas are tossed around in free form, with a surprise extended unison section towards the end—surprising even for me because I think that it turned out to be the emotional heart of the piece.
Also on the program are Paganini’s Grand Sonata for violin and guitar, Piazzola’s History of the Tango, Riley’s Desert Songs, and Sarasate’s Andalusian Romance. Duo Revirado specializes in Spanish/Latin-tinged music, especially the tango, combined with virtuosic flare and a solid classical training. They have performed all over California and in Mexico as well.
Yee is the assistant concertmaster of the Monterey Symphony and has played with practically every orchestra in Northern California from Santa Rosa to Sacramento to Monterey. Rodriguez is one of Mexico’s finest guitarists. A recent winner of music competitions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Tijuana, he teaches at the university level in Ensenada, Baja California and commutes across the border to teach in San Diego.
The Friday concert will also feature Mozart’s duo for Violin and Viola in G Major and all three of us will improvise together in the rarely heard ensemble of violin, viola, and guitar.
The concert is free but a “suggested donation” of $15 is greatly appreciated.
Friday, March 12, at 8PM, Unitarian Universalist Church,
505 East Charleston Road Palo Alto, CA
Thursday, March 11, at 7PM, Red Poppy Art House
2698 Folsom St San Francisco, CA 94110