Copyright © 2017-19 by Jordan Kuspa

Fantastic stuff:

A Suite for viola

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Composed in 2006

For solo viola

Duration: 11:00

 

I. As the Flame Goes Out, Something Stirs

II. Fantasy-Etude: Magic Carpet Ride

III. Hoedown: The Wild Rumpus!

IV. Fantasy-Serenade: The Sorcerer's Viola

V. Escape from the Castle on the Dark Mountain

 

Fantastic Stuff is a wild ride of mystery, danger, excitement, and darkness–basically, all the things violists crave.  It's a jumble of virtuosic techniques–some flashy, some subtle. The first movement features variations on a serpentine tune, with a healthy dose of tremolo, an effect not often found in solo string writing.  The second movement is full of swooping runs and jagged meter changes, and runs directly into the third piece–a wild, bluegrass-fiddle inspired romp.  The fourth movement revisits the tune from the first in various ways, before making a very unusual use of left-hand pizzicato just before the end.  The final piece returns to the jagged rhythmic world of the second and third movements, and references all the preceding movements in some way or another.  The resulting piece is very eclectic, but is tied together by motivic and harmonic connections between all of the movements. 

 

About the titles, I will say nothing.  I hope you like them.

After violist Brett Deubner performed Fantastic Stuff work many times, including several performances in Italy, his friend Donna Scro, director of Freespace Dance, choreographed a work, Brethren, to be performed to the suite. It was a great thrill to watch Brett and Freespace Dance bring this new work to life.

 

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First Performance: February 24th, 2007

Duncan Recital Hall, Rice University, Houston, TX

Juliana Tutt, viola

 

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Video Recording: Aug 2nd, 2009

The ASTA Chamber Music Institute at Kean University, NJ
Brett Deubner, viola

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Brethren Recording: June 23, 2011

DanSpace Project at St.-Marks in-the-Bowery, New York, NY

Brett Deubner, viola

Choreography by Donna Scro; danced by Freespace Dance Company

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Related Works:

Beneath the Magma

Flying Solo

Hall of Mirrors

String Quartet No. 2