Unaccompanied Works for Violin & Viola
Fritz Kreisler, Astor Piazzolla, Quincy Porter, Erwin Schulhoff, Georg Philipp Telemann, Augusta Read Thomas, Henri Vieuxtemps, James Winn, Eugène Ysaÿe
STEPHANIE SANT'AMBROGIO, violin & viola
"Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio reveals herself as a fine musician. Beyond the basics of rhythm and tuning, her main virtues here are a deep understanding of the structure of each piece, the ability to communicate that structure to the listener, contrapuntal clarity when called for, and a chameleonic faculty for disappearing into each piece. It's an accomplishment to take on so well the wide range among Thomas's Incantation, Ysaÿe's and Schulhoff's sonatas, and Piazzolla's tangos. Altogether a superior program and performance."
Steve Schwartz, ClassicalNet [April 2014]
"Engaging music plus beautiful playing and recording add up to a feast for lovers of all things string... Sant’ Ambrogio’s playing here and throughout is captured in warm, intimate, very present sound, adding to the appeal of this eminently appealing program. Highly recommended!"
Lee Passarella, Audiophile Audition [November 2011]
"Sant'Ambrogio is an excellent violinist and violist... [she] plays both instruments proficiently; her recital is a pleasure to listen to."
Turok's Choice, No.234 [Summer 2011]
"[Sant'Ambrogio] continues her string of CD successes with a fascinating recital mixing solo music for violin and viola..."
Laurence Vittes, Strings [July 2011]
“… Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio explores some of the lesser-known repertoire not only for solo violin, but solo viola as well.… Sant'Ambrogio's is typically straightforward and no-nonsense...“ [ * * * * ]
Mike D. Brownell, All Music Guide 
"Here we have a recital for solo violin, no accompaniment, which is punctuated with works for viola and which traces a path from Telemann to Quincy Porter, two living composers, and Piazzolla tangos. Programs don’t get much more varied or interesting than this. We start with Telemann’s Fantasia No. 7, in E flat, part of his series of twelve solo violin works... Sant’Ambrogio’s outing here is fresh and eloquently simple. Then it’s forward in time to Henri Vieuxtemps for a viola interlude — a capriccio, played with great passion... Eugene Ysaÿe’s sonata No. 4, for Kreisler, is brought off with aplomb but not too much... Then we step forward to 2006 and the Incantation for solo viola by Augusta Read Thomas... James Winn’s Pibroch [is] breathtakingly dispatched by Sant’Ambrogio... In sum, a truly fine program of odds, ends, and overlooked gems, played...with great skill, charisma, and emotional commitment. The recorded sound will do very nicely, not too close and not too recessed... her viola or violin playing [is] the work of a consummate professional... If the program she has assembled for this disc intrigues you, give it a listen. Sometimes going solo is the right idea after all."
MusicWeb International [September 2011]
I started my career as a professional violinist in 1985 when, as a graduate student at the Eastman School of Music, I won a position in The Cleveland Orchestra. It was a dream job: the orchestra recorded extensively, performed with legendary guest soloists and conductors, and toured internationally. I was privileged to be making music with some of the most talented instrumentalists in the business. But one summer, a small voice inside of me proclaimed, “Lord, I can’t be in this orchestra when I start a family!” My prayers were answered when in 1994 I won the concertmaster position with the San Antonio Symphony. I went from being one of 100-plus colleagues to one of 76 and I couldn’t have felt more blessed. And I started my family in 1997.
I found myself playing in even smaller ensembles when I founded, with the help of my husband, a chamber music festival in San Antonio–a dream of mine fulfilled. Cactus Pear Music Festival (www.cpmf.us) has allowed me to totally saturate myself in my life-long passion, chamber music. My path eventually led in 2007 to the University of Nevada , Reno , and the intimate group of a piano trio. Making music with the Argenta Trio has fed my soul and my colleagues inspire me daily.
And although making music as “one of three” is extremely intimate and deeply satisfying, something in me wanted to express myself completely on my own. In a way, this CD marks a coming about full circle for me: I began studying the violin as a child learning solo pieces and practicing countless hours alone; I went into the world to make music with many others and now I’m back at the beginning of my path, Going Solo. I hope that you find the intimacy of the unaccompanied violin and viola to be as satisfying to your spirit as it has been for mine. - Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio
Fantasia No. 7 in E-flat Major for solo violin
Capriccio, Op. Posth. No. 9 for solo viola
Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 27, No. 4
Recitativo & Scherzo Caprice, Op. 6 for solo violin
Incantation for solo viola (2006)
Pibroch for solo violin (2008)
Sonata for Solo Violin (1927)
Suite for Viola Alone (1930)
Three Tango Etudes for solo violin