Garth Knox is known as a viola player and a champion of new music, having played with the Arditti Quartet and the Ensemble Intercontemporain for seven years each before emerging as a soloist on both viola and viola d'amore in recent years. On this CD we hear not only his distinctive performing style but also his original compositions.
In each of the eight studies that make up "Viola Spaces", the music is based on a simple concept - a particular way of causing the strings to resonate. Although conceived as a series of concert studies, these pieces soon take on a life of their own, creating vast musical (viola) spaces to which you can bring your own stories and pictures. From a clearly defined constraint, the music bursts out of the instruments.
These techniques include studies in sul ponticello, glissandi, tremelo, etc., but all the while entertaining to listen to.
In addition to the viola ensemble etudes, the CD features Knox's compositions "Jonah and the Whale" for the unusual duo of viola and tuba, and "La Valse de la Vineuse" for clarinet, violin, viola and cello.
Garth Knox's fantasy on "Malor me bat" by Johannes Ockegem features his performance on the viola d'amore together with 5 violas. Knox was inspired to work on this due to Luigi Nono's Ockegem quotation in his string quartet "An Diotoma".
This release coincides with Schott's publication of the scores to the "Viola Spaces" etudes, of great interest to violists and for educational purposes.
The CD will be mentioned in Schott's publicity and advertising for the etudes.
Liner notes by Garth Knox and Jane O'Leary.