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The winner of the 13th Lionel Tertis Viola Competition, Paul Laraia gave a recital with pianist Robert Markham, Wigmore Hall, London on Monday 10th February 2020
Rolla [Italy] (1757 – 1841): 3 Concertant Duos for Violin and Viola Op. 5 no. 1 (1802)
Atar Arad [USA/Israel] (1945 -) : 12 Caprices for viola (2003)
Paul Hindemith [Germany] (1895 – 1963): Sonata for viola and piano Op. 11 no. 4 (1919)
Frank Bridge [UK] (1879 – 1941): Allegro appassionato H.82 (1908)
Roxanna Panufnik [UK] (1968 -): Canto for solo viola (2019)
Atar Arad: Caprice One: Rebecca (2013)
Rebecca Clarke [UK] (1886 – 1979) :Viola Sonata (1919)
Note by the composer about ‘Canto’
This piece was commissioned by the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, for its 2019 contestants. I feel a particularly awesome sense of responsibility when I write these competition pieces – it’s a given that the performer may well be nervous, anxious or stressed (or all three) and whilst I understand the need to stretch them technically, I do also want to provide an opportunity for them to demonstrate their lyrical and interpretative skills.
When I discovered that Lionel Tertis was Ashkenazi Jewish, I looked into some Cantorial chants and found this haunting and beautifully ornate “Y’HI ROTZON” (“May it be Thy will”), an invocation for the new month’s blessing. I start with the first couple of lines of the original, then elaborate on its elegant figurations and modal language for the rest of the piece.
The title evolved out of my admiration for the gorgeously warm ‘singing’ tone of the viola and was endorsed by my discovery that Tertis’s father was a cantor at Princess Street Synagogue in Stepney.
I am extremely grateful to Dr Alexander Knapp for helping me find this exquisite chant and to violist friend Martin Outram, who demonstrated various inspirational viola techniques and patiently tried out my drafts. Also, to Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition Director John Bethell MBE for this extremely gratifying commission.
@Roxanna Panufnik, 2018