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Spark for solo Viola


In early 2009, conductor Kirk Smith commissioned me to write a short piece for unaccompanied viola, as a high school graduation gift for his daughter Yvonne. What a great dad! Kirk also sent me recordings of Yvonne playing Hindemith and Bach, and I was very excited to write a new piece for Yvonne who brings passion and precision in equal strong doses. Yvonne Smith premiered SPARK November 22, 2009 as a freshman at The Shepherd School of Music in Houston.

SPARK is just a short spark of an idea, designed to peak and conclude within a few minutes. It has a lot of gritty drive, a polymetric parody of a Bach Suite, some flavorings from funk and the 19th-century German masters, and in the long run is a series of build-ups into a romantic tune that finally blossoms as the coda.

last updated February 22, 2020