Carlos Castro’s Music for the Viola #1, “Serenata de la Luna” for Viola and String Orchestra

Carlos Castro is one of the most original and important Composers of Costa Rica. He is also the first and only Costa Rican Composers to win a Grammy for his compositions. Carlos comes from a movement in Costa Rica derive form Latin American music traditions or “Latinamericanismo”.

Carlos-Castro-300x229Carlos Castro’s Music musical language and style merges with elegance and sophistication different influences and music traditions, some from Costa Rica, (such as aboriginal, folkloric and Classical Music traditions), and other music from diverse cultures and style such as world music, rock and Jazz. He is very effective in using these influences and creating his own style. At the same time his writing is very economical, clear and always with a message he wants to convey to the listener. Therefore I like to define his style as a Cosmopolitan Latin-American, “Latinoamericanismo Cosmopolita” Continue reading

A Latvian Viola d’amore Concerto in New York

viola_damore

I came across the Music of the Latvian Composer Anna Viesmanev while performing the world premiere of the Concerto for Viola and String Orchestra “Serenata de La Luna” by Costa Rican Composer Carlos Castro in New York City. This was at the final Concert of the 2013 Season of the North/South Consonance Chamber Orchestra under Max Lifchitz. As part of this program was the premiere of a

Continue reading

The Viola d’amore

Bach Museum Vla d'amore 2The viola d’amore is a unique instrument with a beautiful sound and design. It is also a mysterious instrument because of its unknown origins. This is a brief and general introduction to this instrument.

The Viola d’amore is a string instrument with a hybrid design. It was popular during the Baroque and Pre-Classical periods. Leopold Mozart describes this instrument  in his Treatise on the Fundamental Principles of Violin Playing as “a distinctive kind of fiddle which sounds especially charming in the stillness of the evening. Above, it is strung with six gut strings of which the lower three are 

Continue reading

J. S. Bach two works for violas

220px-johann_sebastian_bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a composer that understood the potential of the viola at different levels.  Bach himself a great composer and keyboard player was also a good string player, who knew to perfection all the possibilities of the string instruments[1]. He explored the special characteristics of violas, (alto and tenor), in different pieces and ensembles.

Continue reading