CONCERTANTE DUO in E-Flat Major for Violin and Viola, Op. 5
Selected Movements from Delicias de Blancanieves (27 Spanish Fairy Tales) (2015)
MU KKUBO ERY’OMUSAALABA for Clarinet Quartet (1993)
(Arr. by Kathryne Pirtle and Florentina Ramniceanu)
PIANO QUARTET in E-Flat Major, Op. 87
A highlight of the concert is the premiere of Orion clarinetist Kathryne Pirtle and Orion violinist Florentina Ramniceanu's arrangement of Ugandan composer Justinian Tamusuza's Mu Kkubo Ery 'Omusaalaba (On the Way of the Cross) for clarinet quartet (1993), a rhythmically innovative and captivating work earlier recorded by the Kronos Quartet. Tamusuza blends Western classical and Ugandan traditional styles in his compositions, including African folk elements, minimalist techniques and poly-rhythms.
The Concertante Duo in E-Flat Major for violin and viola, Op. 5 by Alessandro Rolla features the highly expressive strains of early Romanticism, tempered by the charming elegance of Classical era influences. Known primarily as Paganini's teacher, Rolla was a viola and violin virtuoso whose many accomplishments include writing one of the first viola concertos.
Continuing a long and fruitful partnership with Chicago-based composer Sebastian Huydts (b. 1966), Orion performs selected movements of his Delicias de Blancanieves (Snow White's Delight, 2015), a highly imaginative work consisting of 27 fairy tales with a decidedly Spanish flavor. Strongly melodic and tuneful, offering much rhythmic variety and a fair amount of harmonic spice, each piece harbors a little story, suggested by its title. Orion's performance features selections Huydts has arranged specifically for the ensemble as well as original versions played by Orion pianist Diana Schmück.
Dvorák had an international reputation when he completed his Piano Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 87 in 1889. Responding to his publisher Simrock's request, Dvorák composed this work only after completing his opera, The Jacobin. This masterful chamber work displays extraordinary writing for piano and prominent expressiveness for strings, resulting in an exquisitely crafted work in overall texture and tone.