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of time and love (2022) 《不朽之爱》

Concerto for Viola and Orchestra 中提琴协奏曲 (25')

Program Note

Of Time and Love—Concerto for Viola and Orchestra is co-commissioned by the Curtis Institute of Music for the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Roberto Diaz, with support from Bridget Baird, Brenda Baird Senturia, Robert B Downing and the Downing Family Foundation in cooperation with the Apollo Orchestra, and Allen R. and Judy Brick Freedman. Co-commissioned with the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra of China. It was completed in 2022, orchestrated for 2 flutes (second doubles piccolo), two oboes (second doubles English horn), two clarinets in Bb (second doubles bass clarinet), two bassoons (second doubles contra bassoon), four French horns, two trumpets, two tenor trombones, one bass trombone, harp, timpani, three percussionists (playing slapsticks, a set of 4 wood blocks, small suspended cymbal, small triangle, guiro, large tam-tam, large bass drum, glockenspiel, vibraphone), and strings. Preview performance is given on October 30, 2022, by the Apollo Orchestra conducted by David Neely in Washington DC; world premiere performance was given on January 29, 2023, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya, at Verizon Hall of Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Roberto Diaz, to whom the work is dedicated, is the soloist for both performances.

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the viola, particularly for its variety of characters, from the sweet, lyrical to the rough and dramatic. The work is also inspired by the fine musicianship of Roberto Diaz, an artist who is both a virtuosic and exceptionally musical. I was happy to have the opportunity to write a viola concerto—I made sure the instrument would express the range of traits and, the solo part would sing mostly throughout the composition.

The work was written during the thick of the Pandemic, which reset everyone’s complacency. When human life becomes fragile, only love is timeless.

—Bright Sheng

 

—盛宗亮