Composers Datebook®

with host John Birge

Tuesday, September 24

Bach and Hoover "double their pleasure, double their fun"

Synopsis

In the age of the Baroque, Double Concertos were quite common: there were concertos written for two flutes, two trumpets, or, like the famous concerto by J.S. Bach, for two violins. These Double Concertos represented a civilized give-and-take between the two soloists, a sense of balance or decorum perhaps typical of 18th century society in general. In the 19th century, however, the concept of the solitary artist as hero — or rebel — helped make the virtuosic solo concerto much more typical of the Romantic age.

In our time, the Double Concerto occasionally makes a civilized comeback, and, on today’s date in 1989, one for two violins was premiered in Pittsburgh, Kansas. It’s by the American composer Katherine Hoover, who offered this explanation:

“When two violinists get together to perform with an orchestra, its usually a friendly celebration, a chance for colleagues who value each other’s talents and skills to enjoy making music together… So I began to think: If I were one of the players, I would want the piece to be grateful and warm, with lyricism and a sense of playfulness. This is what I have attempted to write.”

Katherine Hoover’s 1989 Double Concerto was commissioned and premiered by the Southeastern Kansas Orchestra.

Music Played in Today's Program

J.S. Bach (1685-1750) Double Concerto in d, S. 1043 Vladimir Spivakov, Arkady Futer, violins; Moscow Virtuosi; Vladimir Spivakov, cond. RCA 7991

Katherine Hoover (1937 - 2018) Double Concerto David Perry, Suzanne Beia, violins; Wisconsin Philomusic; Vartan Manoogian, cond. Parnasus 96019

Additional Information

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