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John McDonald: Airy - Music for Violin & Piano / Joanna Kurkowicz, violin; John McDonald, piano

Audio Samples

>McDonald, John [Composer] : Lyrical Study, for violin & piano, Op. 10/2
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Poem, for violin & piano, Op. 12b
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Brief Pastiche of a Theme by Schoenberg, for violin & piano, Op. 15
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Four Single-Minded Miniatures, for violin & piano, Op. 27
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Mad Dance, for violin & piano, Op. 66
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Lily Events
>     A Suite of Seven Little Studies, for violin & piano, Op. 97
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 219
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Suite of Six Curt Pieces, for violin & piano, Op. 326
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Lines After Keats, for violin & piano, Op. 336
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Airy, for violin & piano, Op. 436

Album Summary

>McDonald, John [Composer] : Lyrical Study, for violin & piano, Op. 10/2
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Poem, for violin & piano, Op. 12b
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Brief Pastiche of a Theme by Schoenberg, for violin & piano, Op. 15
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Four Single-Minded Miniatures, for violin & piano, Op. 27
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Mad Dance, for violin & piano, Op. 66
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Lily Events
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 219
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Suite of Six Curt Pieces, for violin & piano, Op. 326
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Lines After Keats, for violin & piano, Op. 336
>McDonald, John [Composer] : Airy, for violin & piano, Op. 436
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This recording includes compositions written over a 22 year span, with performances by virtuoso violinist Joanna Kurkowicz and the composer at the piano. John McDonald is Music Department Chair and Professor of Music at Tufts University. McDonald was named the 2007 MTNA - Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year by the Music Teachers National Association, and received the 2009 Lillian and Joseph Leibner Award for Distinguished Teaching and Advising from Tufts University. In 2010, he received the Waring Prize from Western Reserve Academy. John McDonald's recordings appear on the Albany, Archetype, Arsis, Boston, BMOP Sound, Bridge, Capstone, Hungarton Classics, Innova, Neuma, New Ariel, and New World labels, and he has concertized widely as composer, pianist, and collaborative performer. Andrew Rangell's performance of McDonald's Meditation Before A Sonata: Dew Cloth, Dream Drapery is on BRIDGE 9295 and Joanna Kurkowicz's recording of violin works by Alfred Schnittke is on BRIDGE 9104.

American Record Guide, March/April 2014
His explorations of the transparent qualities of both the violin and the piano are very intimate, and much of the best music on the quieter side. His music reminds me, in a way, of the miniature sculptures made by Hagop Sandaldjian (who was, coincidentally, a violinist) that can fit in the eye of a needle and are best viewed through a microscope. McDonald, who teaches at Tufts University, spent the middle 1980s as the studio pianist for the late Roman Totenberg, who taught at Boston University and the Longy School of Music. He wrote many of the earlier pieces on this program for Mr Totenberg's students. The most recent piece here is 'Airy', and it serves as the program's title track. McDonald wrote it in 2007 for Joanna Kurkowicz, an excellent violinist who expresses herself beautifully in the transparent regions of the violin where much of the piece resides. Like McDonald, she lives in Boston and teaches at Tufts.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Distler Performance Hall, Granoff Music Center, Tufts U (05/2010).



Reviews

Airy, indeed
Airy brings together John McDonald's music for violin and piano, bringing together lighthearted miniatures with more serious long-form compositions. It's an appealing program that's full of variety. Mad Dance, Op. 66 and the Suite of Six Curt Pieces, Op. 326 are just plain fun, while the major work, the Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 219 is more complex composition with greater emotional depth.

In the program notes, McDonald says he considers many of these works to be songs without words -- and it's an apt description. Poem, Op. 12, for example, is based on the poetry of Samuel Beckett. The shape of the music is determined by the poem, although not a word is sung. That's also the case with Lily Events, Op. 97 (inspired by poetry collection), and the Lines After Keats, Op. 336.

There's an audible chemistry between violinist Joanna Kurkowicz and the composer (who accompanies her). Airy is the title of the release, and airy it is.
Submitted on 10/07/13 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>McDonald, John [Composer] : Lyrical Study, for violin & piano, Op. 10/2
  • Performers: Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin); John McDonald (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1985

>McDonald, John [Composer] : Poem, for violin & piano, Op. 12b
  • Performers: Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin); John McDonald (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1985

>McDonald, John [Composer] : Brief Pastiche of a Theme by Schoenberg, for violin & piano, Op. 15
  • Performers: Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin); John McDonald (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1985

>McDonald, John [Composer] : Four Single-Minded Miniatures, for violin & piano, Op. 27
  • Performers: Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin); John McDonald (Piano)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1987

>McDonald, John [Composer] : Mad Dance, for violin & piano, Op. 66
  • Performers: Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin); John McDonald (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1986-1988

>McDonald, John [Composer] : Lily Events :: A Suite of Seven Little Studies, for violin & piano, Op. 97
  • Performers: Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin); John McDonald (Piano)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1989

>McDonald, John [Composer] : Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 219
  • Performer: Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1994

>McDonald, John [Composer] : Suite of Six Curt Pieces, for violin & piano, Op. 326
  • Performers: Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin); John McDonald (Piano)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1999-2000

>McDonald, John [Composer] : Lines After Keats, for violin & piano, Op. 336
  • Performers: Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin); John McDonald (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2000

>McDonald, John [Composer] : Airy, for violin & piano, Op. 436
  • Performers: Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin); John McDonald (Piano)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2007-2008