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Of String and Touch

(Viola and Piano).
Total duration ca. 10 minutes (2006)
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
One movement work. 16 pages, 8.5" x 11".

Premiered in April 2006 in Abilene, TX.
by Peter Neubert, viola and Stacy Kwak, piano.

Audio clip of "Of String and Touch" performed by Peter Neubert, viola, and STacy Kawk, piano, in a live concert.


Also available as:

Of Wood and Touch

(for Cello and Piano).
Total duration ca. 10 minutes (2001)
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
One movement work. 16 pages, 8.5" x 11".

Premiered in February 2004 in San Francisco, CA.
by Gianna Abondolo, cello and Teresa McCollough, piano.

Audio clip of "Of Wood and Touch" performed by Gianna Abondolo, cello, and Teresa McCollough, piano, in a live concert.


Also available as:

Of Bow and Touch

(for Double Bass and Piano).
Total duration ca. 10 minutes (2000)
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
Adaptation of "Of Breath and Touch,"
commissioned in 1999 by Carolyn Beck.
One movement work. 16 pages, 8.5" x 11".

Premiered in October 2001 in Long Beach, CA.
by Tom Peters, bass and Mark Uranker, piano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Of Bow and Touch is a very effective and accessible work, with artful melodies and inventive use of harmonies and textures."

-------— Hans Sturm, Bass World Magazine, 2001

"...a very interesting and effective work."

-------— Gordon Rumson, Music & Vision Magazine, May 2001

Of Bow and Touch received a 2001 award from The International Society of Bassists.

Beck and Call CD
The bassoon and piano version of this piece, Of Breath and Touch, is featured on Carolyn Beck's 2005 CD, Beck and Call, on Crystal Records CD 846. Click CD for more info.
     
Listen to an audio clip of
Of String and Touch
for viola and piano
View a page from the score to
Of String and Touch
for viola and piano
view score
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Listen to an audio clip of
Of Wood and Touch
for cello and piano
__________________
Listen to an audio clip of
Of Bow and Touch
for double bass and piano
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Score and part available from
Activist Music for $25.00.

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  Of String and Touch is a passionate piece for a viola and piano duo, and offers an adventurous violist a broad range of music to explore within a single movement. This sonata is an adaptation of my 1999 bassoon and piano work, Of Breath and Touch. Not all pieces lend themselves to new incarnations, but this one seems to be particularly well suited to the intensities of a bow in lieu of a bassoonist's bocal.

There are also successful adaptations of this piece for double bass and piano, titled Of Bow and Touch, honored with an award from the International Society of Double Bassists in 2001, as well as for cello and piano, under the title Of Wood and Touch.

 
 
 

Review by Hans Sturm in the 2001 edition of Bass World:

Of Bow and Touch is a dramatic work with beautiful bass melodies and an intriguing use of harmony and texture.

The piece begins with a striking introduction: pedaled E flats in the piano echo over four octaves in the lower register. The bass enters majestically with a double dotted theme over long held low chords. After a brief fermata, the A theme appears, featuring broken sixteenth notes arpeggios in the piano, beginning with strong accents that slowly die away. While the piano texture remains consistent throughout the A section, the bass melody begins as an arc of long held notes, punctuated by sixteenth note flourishes and dotted syncopations.

After an extended passage of fast rhythms spiccato, the melody reappears before the rubato B theme is established. Rich quiet harmonies support a lyric bel canto, yet complex rhythms in the melody. Slight ritardandos alternate with a tempo bars in 6/4 throughout the B section.

A virtuosic cadenza marked "very freely, improvisation is encouraged" further embellishes the melody with double stops, sixteenth note triplet arpeggios, and intricate runs. The B theme returns, followed by a highly syncopated contrapuntal passage that accelerates into the final statement of the A section.

Of Bow and Touch is a very effective and accessible work, with artful melodies and inventive use of harmonies and textures.

Enjoy this video of the original version of this piece, OF BREATH AND TOUCH, performed by bassoonist Ryan M. Hare and pianist Gerald Berthiaume in February 2013, on a concert of Alex Shapiro's music during her vist as the resident composer for the Festival of Contemporary Art Music (FOCAM), at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington:

 

Of String and Touch, page 13    
Of String and Touch page 13
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