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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Amaro Dubois, Adoration, Music of the Americas, Viola-Piano Works by Price, Clarke, Coleridge-Taylor, Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos, Guerra-Peixe, Fanny Mendelssohn, with Tingting Yao


I cannot always tell day-to-day what new musical treasures will await my ears, but there are ever good things. Today there is a fine and adventurous album by violist Amaro Dubois with pianist Tingting Yao, entitled Adoration: Music of the Americas (Spice Classics SR-101-56). 

The most apparent thing you notice is the very adventurous program of works, things that if you have not heard you are glad to or even if you have, it is a nice gathering of unexpected juxtapositions and very solid viola fare. It happens that I became quite enamored with the viola in my early listening years thanks to Walter Trampler. I still feel the same way so always glad to hear an excellent player unknown to me. Like you might come to expect from a violist of stature there is a woody, burnished deepness to Amaro's tone, and given the expressive qualities of much of the music there is an emotive sweetness that is not overblown but just right, a trim tautness coupled with a projective richness that makes the music sing out nicely. 

Dubois and Yao give poetically focused attention to works that are neglected treasures, many of them, and/or illuminating to our understanding of composers, regions. periods.

We get to hear a couple of gems by the now emergent Afro-American woman composer Florence Price, plus worthy but neglected works by Rebecca Clarke, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Astor Piazzolla, Cesar Guerra-Piexe and Fanny Mendelssohn. And then to remind us that there is a treasure trove of possible rearrangements of other works and composers  more well known, we hear a ravishing viola-piano version of Villa-Lobos's "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6."

In the end it is a pleasure to hear the brilliant musicianship of Dubois and Yao, as much as it is heartening to hear some wonderful music we are fortunate to experience today. Bravo!           

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