Violinist Nicholas DiEugenio and pianist Mimi Solomon release a recording representing three generations of composers, linked through the eminent Steven Stucky, whose recent passing in 2016 left the contemporary music community in a state of mourning. Alongside the world premiere recording of Stucky's violin sonata in which he responds personally to the historical lineage of the form, the recording includes the duo's elegant and sensitive performances of premieres by Stucky's teacher and mentor, Robert Palmer, and two of his most accomplished students, Tonia Ko and Jesse Jones.
|01||...in dulcet tones (2013)|
...in dulcet tones (2013)
Sonata for Violin and Piano (2013)Steven Stucky (1949-2016)
Plush Earth in Four Pieces for violin and piano (2014)Tonia Ko
Sonata for Violin and Piano (1956)Robert Palmer (1915-2010)
|09||I. Andante Sostenuto|
I. Andante Sostenuto
|10||II. Allegro e molto ritmico|
II. Allegro e molto ritmico
|12||IV. Allegro moderato—molto vivace e scherzando|
IV. Allegro moderato—molto vivace e scherzando
Musical ideas that are passed down through tutelage and mentorship also owe a debt to the shared geographical proximity that is the fruit of a community. This elegant recording by the duo of violinist Nicholas DiEugenio and pianist Mimi Solomon is an hommage to the late composer Steven Stucky but also to his longtime home of Ithaca, NY, a center for the American compositional tradition for generations of composers. With this release, the duo honors Stucky’s memory through their warm and passionate premiere recording of his Sonata for Violin and Piano, but also through the premiere recording of his teacher and longtime Cornell University professor Robert Palmer’s sonata, and premieres of works by two of Stucky’s most successful students, Tonia Ko and Jesse Jones. Jones’ evocative ...in dulcet tones unfolds with crystalline arpeggiated passages that are contrasted with long lyrical melodies. Jones skillfully negotiates different stylistic traditions, toggling between romantic pathos and impressionistic sound painting as suits the organic unfolding of the music. Stucky’s sonata engages more self-consciously with the tradition, looking particularly towards Debussy’s famous work for this instrumentation, and its balance between composerly manipulation of material and episodes of fantasy. The inward, occasionally impassioned “Interlude” serves as a bridge before the final movement’s dance between con fuoco and wistful sections. Tonia Ko’s Plush Earth in Four Pieces is inspired by author Vladimir Nabokov’s impressions of Ithaca, his home for ten years. Ko’s work, is comprised of four character pieces, each exploring a different texture and affect. The first is alternatively annunciatory and insistent, the second is reminiscent of a toccata, though through a prism, the third is a study of glissandi on both instruments (slow, plaintive slides on the violin, and fast, inside the piano swipes), and the last a meditation on clusters, trills, and ethereal ascending lines. Palmer’s expansive mid- century sonata is symphonic in its scope, with searching, anxiety filled andante and adagio movements, and a rigorous and rhythmic allegro which displays shades of Shostakovich-esque mock militarism. The shifting meter opening of the final movement creates anticipation before a driving scherzando closes this substantial work. DiEugenio and Solomon give these works committed and virtuosic performances throughout, highlighting the colorful textures in the Ko and Jones with sensitivity and underscoring the large scale structure in the Palmer and Stucky with conviction and control. This wonderful collection captures the spirit of what might be seen as an Ithaca sound — a blend of east coast modernism with neo-romantic and neo-classical sensibilities, with a rich sense of color that underscores the music’s tendency towards thoughtful introspection.
Produced by Tom Chiu
Engineer: Ryan Streber, Oktaven Audio www.oktavenaudio.com
Editing, Mixing, and Mastering: Ryan Streber, Oktaven Audio
Recording Location and dates: Oktaven Audio, December 28, 2015 to December 30, 2015 (Tracks 1,9,10,11,12); May 31, 2015 to June 4, 2015 (Tracks 2-8)
Edited and Mixed at Oktaven Audio
Art and Design: Aestheticize Media
Liner Notes: Nicholas DiEugenio and Mimi Solomon
Praised by the New York Times for his “excellent” and “evocative” playing, violinist Nicholas DiEugenio leads a versatile life as chamber musician, leader, and soloist in music ranging from Biber to Carter and beyond. A core member of the Sebastians, a period group hailed as “top notch” by the New Yorker and “everywhere sharp-edged and engaging” by the New York Times, Nicholas also performs and records with pianist Mimi Solomon and has performed with mentors and colleagues such as Ani Kavafian, Laurie Smukler, Joel Krosnick, Peter Salaff, Joseph Lin, and Robert Mealy, and in venues ranging from Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and New York’s Trinity Wall Street to the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX and Rose Live Music in Brooklyn. Along with conductor Jeffery Meyer, Nicholas commissioned and premiered Loren Loiacono’s Concerto for Violin and Strings with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic in Glinka Hall, and has commissioned and premiered Nobody’s, a solo violin work by composer Ted Hearne. Nicholas has twice been a prize winner at the Fischoff Competition; his award-winning recording of the three Schumann violin sonatas with Chi-Chen Wu is available on the Musica Omnia label. Nicholas has also recorded for the innova, New Focus, and Naxos labels. Currently Assistant Professor of Violin at UNC Chapel Hill, Nicholas was previously violin professor at the Ithaca College School of Music. Nicholas teaches at the Kinhaven Music School during the summers, and holds BM and MM degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and an AD and DMA from the Yale School of Music.
American pianist Mimi Solomon enjoys a multi-faceted career as a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. She has performed throughout the United States, China, Japan and Europe, has appeared as soloist with orchestras including Shanghai Symphony, Philharmonia Virtuosi, and Yale Symphony Orchestra, and has been featured on numerous radio and television broadcasts including the McGraw-Hill Young Artist’s Showcase, France 3, France Inter and National Public Radio. An avid chamber musician, Mimi regularly appears at music festivals on both sides of the Atlantic such as Santander, IMS Prussia Cove, Lockenhaus, Rencontres de Bel-Air, Ravinia, Taos, Norfolk, Yellow Barn, Charlottesville, La Loingtaine and Aspen. Mimi spends part of every year coaching and performing chamber music at Kinhaven Festival in Vermont, and has taught at Cornell University, East Carolina University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Ithaca College. Mimi graduated cum laude in East Asian Studies from Yale, went on to receive a Master of Music from Juilliard, and then studied and freelanced as a chamber musician and soloist in Paris for nearly a decade. Her main teachers were Peter Frankl and Robert McDonald, and she has also played regularly for Ferenc Rados and studied the pianoforte with Patrick Cohen. She currently lives in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband, violinist Nicholas DiEugenio.