I'm so excited to share today's Meet the Composer bonus track with you. Last October, I traveled to Detroit to perform the US premiere of Nico Muhly's viola concerto with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Leonard Slatkin. The orchestra has graciously agreed to let us use the second movement of the viola concerto for our show for three months, so this is our first ever LIMITED-TIME bonus track.
Nico wrote the concerto in 2014, and in a lot of ways it's the fruit of 10 years of our working together. The piece is in three movements, and this movement, Part II, is sort of the emotional heart of the piece. It's soulful and colorful and I adore playing it.
At the end of the movement the viola line suffers a sort of massive emotional breakdown, which is then answered by a huge orchestral explosion, featuring a giant tam-tam (gong) and all sorts of low-brass rumbles. In the aftermath, individual members of the orchestra play small phrases independently of each other, finally reuniting in a wounded coda.
This is my favorite part of the concerto to play.
Many, many thanks to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin for making this bonus track possible!