Francesca Anderegg and Matthew McCright — Brave New Worlds: Music from the Americas (Proper Canary)
“I had carpal tunnel syndrome, so playing through the piece was really hard. Actually, some pieces we had to record in sections because I just physically couldn't play through it and have pictures of recording it,” said violinist Francesca Anderegg about recording sessions with pianist Matthew McCright. “I had bandages on my wrists. I almost couldn't do it.”
She developed carpal tunnel syndrome due to her pregnancy. Fortunately, her wrists are now back to normal and all of her hard work you’ll hear on her new recording, Brave New Worlds: Music of the Americas.
Can you talk about the broken social barriers and international connections the composers on this album made?
“Many of these pieces were written when there was great interest in Pan-American, or a collaboration between North and South America.
“Not all these composers were related to each other necessarily. I just had this idea about reaching out beyond a limited sphere and expanding your reach internationally or socially. It was this idea of expansion.”
Can you talk about Alberto Ginastera’s Pampeana No. 1 and how it reflects the style of his homeland?
“Pampeana No. 1 is the first of a set of pieces written for various instruments. It is influenced by the Pampas, the grasslands of western Argentina. It's meant to evoke this idea of spaciousness in the music, and you can hear that in the first phrase. The violin has this soaring free rhapsodic line.”
Why does this arrangement of Aaron Copeland’s Duo for Violin and Piano have a special place in your heart?
“My teacher, Robert Mann, had a sense of humor. When I look at this arrangement and some of the chords, especially the chords in the first movement, there's a series of three chords that sound like the last part of the piece followed by silence. Then, like nothing happened, there's another louder one followed by another even louder chord. Those chords are so true to what I knew of his sense of humor. He enjoyed music that was sometimes abrupt, a little bit funny or had a punchy quality to it. I also enjoy music when it's a little bit unexpected.”
Do you think that Amy Beach’s Violin Sonata would have entered the recital repertoire if it had been composed by a Central European male?
“I can certainly see that, but I don't want to elevate Amy Beach by saying, ‘Oh, it's so similar to Brahms.’ Being so familiar with the Brahms violin sonatas, I see a lot of commonalities there. But, Amy Beach’s is technically difficult for the violin. She will just take the whole line and put it two octaves higher.
“At the very end of the third movement there's a section where the whole pitch range of the piece goes higher and higher. It evaporates into a twilight texture. You have a sense that the piece is going on forever. It's a magical phrase that has many striking and deep moments.”
To hear the rest of my conversation, click on the extended interview above, or download the extended podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
Francesca Anderegg and Matthew McCright — Brave New Worlds: Music from the Americas (Amazon Digital)
Francesca Anderegg (official site)
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