JAVS Fall 2023

The Slapin-Solomon Viola Duo: A Twenty-Year Retrospective 2023, Scott Slapin & Tanya Solomon

intricate harmonic combinations, and complex textural additions. Never once did it feel empty or lacking, and the momentum and energy needed to drive both pieces was an ever-present undercurrent. Any listener who finds themselves with this album will never find themselves bored, with the line-up of genre and era-bending melodies and harmonies. Between the sweet and sacred sound of Tanya’s instrument pared with Scott’s more earthy sound, the compliments and juxtapositions keep you guessing and leave you satisfied regardless of whatever you are listening to. It is a beautiful addition to any music library.

Full album: https://violaduo.com/recordings Sheet music: https://violaduo.com/sheet-music

The combination of the two forces—Scott Slapin and Tanya Solomon—make for a powerful one-two punch in this anthology from the last twenty years of their career and marriage. As a duo, Scott and Tanya have expanded the repertoire for two violas through premieres, commissions, recordings, and their own incredible transcriptions, a combination of which can all be found on this Viola Duo: A Twenty-Year Retrospective album, drawing from more than ten of their albums recorded during their two decade-long partnership. Early in the album, the listener can enjoy the well-oiled Classical soiree in Sonata no.1 for Two Violas, Allegro Moderato . Not only do the parts balance with ease and grace, but the trade-off between voices is seamless. The only thing missing is a quaffed powdered wig and a party to attend. Several incredible transcriptions are included, such as 1812 Overture and Die Walküre, WWV 86b: Ride of the Valkyries . It’s difficult to imagine a successful transcription of such large orchestral scores and behemoths stored into two small instruments; but regardless of any preconceived notions, they were both truly remarkable transcriptions, with clear melodic lines,

Recording reviews by Christina Ebersohl-Van Scyoc.

Journal of the American Viola Society / Vol. 39, No. 2, Fall 2023


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