American Four Seasons
Violin Concerto No.2 - "The American Four Seasons"
Robert McDuffie, violin
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Marin Alsop, conductor
1. Prologue 1:35
2. Movement I 6:02
3. Song No.1 4:16
4. Movement II 10:28
5. Song No.2 1:38
6. Movement III 5:56
7. Song No.3 3:14
8. Movement IV 7:05
The Violin Concerto No. 2 was composed for Robert McDuffie in the Summer and Autumn of 2009. The work was preceded by several years of occasional exchanges between Bobby and myself. He was interested in music that would serve as a companion piece to the Vivaldi “Four Seasons” concertos. I agreed to the idea of a four-movement work but at the outset was not sure how that correspondence would work in practice - between the Vivaldi concertos and my own music. However, Bobby encouraged me to start with my composition and we would see in due time how it would relate to the very well known original.
When the music was completed I sent it onto Bobby, who seemed to have quickly seen how the movements of my Concerto No. 2 related to the “Seasons." Of course, Bobby’s interpretation, though similar to my own, proved to be also somewhat different. This struck me as an opportunity, then, for the listener to make his/her own interpretation. Therefore, there will be no instructions for the audience, no clues as to where Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall might appear in the new concerto – an interesting, though not worrisome, problem for the listener. After all, if Bobby and I are not in complete agreement, an independent interpretation can be tolerated and even welcomed. (The mathematical possibilities, or permutations, of the puzzle are in the order of 24.)
Apart from that, I would only add that, instead of the usual cadenza, I provided a number of solo pieces for Bobby - thinking that they could be played together as separate concert music when abstracted from the whole work. They appear in the concerto as a “prelude” to the first movement and three “songs” that precede each of the following three movements.
Co-commissioned by Toronto Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival
and School, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and
Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas
December 9, 2009 by Robert McDuffie with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Peter Oundjian.
European premiere recorded at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, London on 17 April 2010.
Recorded by Floating Earth:
Producer - Tim Oldham
Engineer - Mike Hatch
Honorable Arts Worker: Richard Guérin
Executive Producers for Orange Mountain Music: Philip Glass, Kurt Munkacsi, and Don Christensen
Violin Concerto No.2 is published by Dunvagen Music Publishers, Inc. (ASCAP).
(p) and (c) 2010 by Orange Mountain Music.