Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
The Dallas Morning News
January 8, 2010
The piece opens edgily. English horn, harp and marimba attempt to calm the viola's anxieties, and eventually the soloist emerges transfigured. The orchestra responds with an ecstatic outpouring, and bell sounds bring the movement to a quiet close.
The central movement bears a quotation from the Biblical Song of Songs: "...fair as the moon, bright as the sun..." In pre-performance remarks from the stage, Brouwer described it as a love song. The viola threads its melody through gentle rustles and cascades which gradually grow in richness and complexity. The finale is playful, even mischievous, with slides and scrawny on-the-bridge grunts for the viola, and sharply snapped pluckings for cellos and basses.
...She has written skillfully and imaginatively for both viola and orchestra, and the music engages start to finish. How about a recording?