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for Viola d'Amore
Abstemious & Sunrise
In the first example "Sonatina für Viola d'Amour und Kontrabass”, the tuning of the Viola d'Amour, which is a 14 string instrument consisting of 7 playable strings over the bridge and 7 sympathetic strings under the bridge, is similar to Bach's tuning for the "Johannes Passion" except that there is an F natural of the fifth sympathetic string, which gives the sound of a D7#9 chord instead of the D Major tuning of Bach. The tuning for the playable strings is A, D, A, D, F#, A, D. The Major and Minor sounds play against each other to create a certain tension with the instrument. The sound of the low Bass gives the Viola d'Amour the ability to truly show its voice quality. I have tried to, in many ways, pay homage to three composers that I admire very much- Maurice Ravel, Zoltan Kodaly and Bela Bartok.
The second and the third selections, "Abstemious" and "Sunrise", are written to show the Viola d'Amour in a different light, in more of a Jazz setting. Everything is of course notated, including the solo for the instrument in Sunrise. There again I wanted the relationship between the Viola d'Amour and the Contrabass to be a very special one, even though the Bass is played pizzicato. The other instruments add the additional colors to the overall scheme.