Aria and Scherzo, for violin and viola

Aria and Scherzo, for violin and viola
(1994) | Duration 12′

Premiered by Wendy Sharp, violin, Robin Sharp, viola

To purchase score and parts, contact Gerald Cohen.

Program Notes

I had written a string quartet in 1991 (String Quartet No. 2, OUP 2003) for the Franciscan String Quartet, a splendid ensemble in which Wendy Sharp was the first violinist, and so I was delighted when she and her sister Robin Sharp asked me to write a composition for violin and viola. The resulting piece, Aria and Scherzo, is in two movements: mostly lyrical and tender in the first movement, playful and jazzy in the second (a movement which gives both violin and viola the chance to play a walking bass).

I want to thank Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, two artist’s colonies at which I worked on this piece during residencies in 1994. Aria and Scherzo was given its premiere by Wendy and Robin Sharp at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in March 1995. —Gerald Cohen