Ispirare, by violist Melia Watras (released by Sono Luminus), consists of contemporary music for viola and the pieces that inspired their creation. For the CD, Watras built a program around works that were not only engaging to perform and listen to, but also provided a creative spark for other composers. Featuring the world premiere recording of Pulitzer Prize winner Shulamit Ran’s Perfect Storm (a solo piece written especially for Watras), the disc also includes works by Atar Arad, Luciano Berio, and George Rochberg.
“When violist Melia Watras approached me about composing a solo viola piece for her, she presented an idea that added an intriguing extra dimension to this commissioning project. Her hope was to have me create a work that, in some way, alluded to, or made use of, an existing work of my choice from the viola repertoire, enabling both works to be performed side by side.” —Shulamit Ran, from her program notes for Perfect Storm
Melia Watras, viola
Winston Choi, piano
Galia Arad, voice
Matthew Kocmieroski, percussion
Valerie Muzzolini Gordon, harp