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 EPITAPH for Cello/Viola and Strings (2011)


EPITAPH for Cello/Viola and Strings is based for the most part on another composition of mine Tikvah for Viola Solo. By borrowing material from a solo piece and having it used in a conversation with a chamber ensemble, I was attempting to take the musical ideas I previously had a step further in scope and perhaps in depth. Tikvah itself was commissioned for the 2008 Munich International Viola Competition and writing it I had by association of ideas - the Munich 1972 Summer Olympics and the slain Israeli athletes in mind. Epitaph keeps the same sad and mournful mood, amalgamating musical flavors originating from different communities, cultures and traditions gathered in Israel. Thus, the listener may discern hints of sounds and musical gestures ranging from the East European klezmer and chazzan, to the Arabic microtonal maquamat, to Sephardic-like simple, wistful tunes. A soft, hidden and inward-looking tiny fragment of HaTikvah may - or may not - be detected as well toward the very end of the piece.

In its cello and string orchestra version, Epitaph was premiered at the 2011 Cello Festival in Kronberg, Germany, by cellist Gary Hoffman and the Kremerata Baltica. The following year I premiered the viola version of the piece at the International Viola Congress in Rochester, NY.

Atar Arad

To purchase a copy of this music, contact Atar Arad at aarad@indiana.edu

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