The Bolcom Project
“Great benchmarks for other performers, but also great performances on their own merits.”
— William Bolcom
American Double's recording of William Bolcom's music for violin and piano was just released on Albany Records in September 2007. The two-CD set represents the first complete recording of these compositions. Performances in Denver, New York and Boston as well as lecture/demonstrations at Yale University and Whitworth College will follow during the 2007-2008 season.
Bolcom’s output for violin and piano represents one of the most important contributions to the duo repertoire in the second half of the twentieth century. This project, through its recording and concerts, will be a well-deserved illustration of the compositional genius of this Pulitzer Prize-winning composer.
Past performances have been given in Hungary, at Boston’s New England Conservatory and Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown Concert House. The performances in Hungary were premieres, and featured the Graceful Ghost, Duo Fantasy and Fourth Sonata. The concert in Ann Arbor, in which each work was introduced by the composer, was the first time an ensemble had performed the complete works for violin and piano in a single concert.
Double first met Bolcom in New York at the home of Arnold Weinstein, Bolcom’s longtime collaborator (A View from the Bridge and “Marc Blitzstein Award”-winning Dynamite Tonite). Since then, the duo has gone on to work with Bolcom on every work he has written for the violin and piano, making them the only ensemble to have done so.
William Bolcom's fourth sonata - from a 2006 concert
On October 22, 2006, American Double gave a marathon performance of William Bolcom's works for violin and piano at Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor, MI, with the composer in attendance. Here is the 1st movement of William Bolcom's Fourth Sonata, with an introduction by the composer.
If you can't see the video, download Flash.
For more videos from the Ann Arbor concert, check out Sights&Sounds.
A taste of what's to come
We'll be showcasing samples from our recording sessions in this space, so keep checking back for more sound samples. Right now, we have five samples to share with you. If you encounter any problems listening to these samples, check out our Help page. To get more information on a specific piece, click on which will take you to the pertinent entry on our Program Notes page. We suggest you take advantage of our Flash-based Music Player, since it automatically loads the entire playlist and allows you to easily pause and fast forward tracks.
- Bolcom, 2nd Violin Sonata, "In Memory of Joe Venuti" [2:09 min]
- Bolcom, 4th Violin Sonata, Allegro brillante [2:05 min]
- Bolcom, Duo Fantasy [2:06 min]
- Bolcom, "Graceful Ghost" Rag [2:25 min]
- Bolcom, 3rd Violin Sonata, "Like a shiver" [1:09 min]