REFRACTIONMusic for Violin and Piano
Christian Asplund, Antonín Dvorák, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Neil Thornock
ALEXANDER WOODS, violin
Aubrey Smith Woods, violin
Rex Woods, piano
World Premiere Recordings [ Asplund; Thornock ]
"The performance [of] A Crust of Azure by Neil Thornock by violinist Alexander and pianist Rex Woods shows their deep commitment to the music. Great care is taken with matters of balance and rhythmic interaction... The performance [of One Eternal Round by Christian Asplund] by Alexander and Aubrey Smith Woods is intense and accurate... listeners will enjoy [the two canonic works] on the way to the Thornock, which for me is the raison d’être of the whole disc... Very natural and well-balanced recorded sound...round out the package."
Henry Fogel, Fanfare [January/February 2021]
"Dvorak’s Four Romantic Pieces proffers long, fluent lines that display the rich tone of both Woods, violin and piano... One Eternal Round by Asplund [is] masterfully executed—the violinists have demonstrated being absolutely top-flight."
Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition [August 2020]
"Alexander Woods does a fine job with those works. His Dvorak is one of the very best, nearly on a par with Itzhak Perlman’s; velvety and rich-toned and very heartfelt and gemutlich. These readings are irresistible... The three musicians are excellent... I hope to hear more from Alexander."
Magil, American Record Guide [November/December 2020]
"[Woods'] grasp of classical forms and his obvious affection for the music he performs on the present album speak for themselves... [The Four Romantic Pieces] are uncomplicated in emotion and form, [and] can take on a rich life of their own in performances such as we have here by Alexander Woods and his father, pianist Rex Woods."
Phil Muse, Atlanta Audio Club [August 2020]
"Alexander Woods’ mastery of the violin is evident throughout... Rex Woods beautifully and skillfully accompanies Rex Woods on piano... the Dvorák and Mozart compositions [are] so wonderfully played here that they make the CD a must-listen just for them."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [August 2020]
"Alexander Woods is a world-class talent, brilliant to hear and rehear. The program does not flag, keeps uncovering new accomplishments in writing and playing! I recommend this one gladly."
Grego Applegate Edwards [August 2020]
"for the final Larghetto... Alexander Woods and Rex Woods fully engage their Romantic sensibilities in a highly expressive conclusion."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad.com [July 2020]
“Show-stopping... deft, sensitive”
The New York Times
PROGRAM NOTESAlthough the violin itself has remained virtually unchanged for centuries, music composed for the instrument has undergone numerous and vivid transformations, shaped and developed by varied circumstances, styles and innovations. Like a light beam passing through a prism, works written for the violin have, over time, refracted into a broad stylistic array of vibrant compositional perspectives. This album mingles canonic violin works from the past with recent compositions that explore this variegated play, engaging with the rich history of violin music and performance through myriad lenses.
Violinist ALEXANDER WOODS is in high demand as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. Woods, well-known for possessing fine technique and a beautiful tone, has performed with highly esteemed groups, including the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Utah Symphony, Helicon Foundation, the Sebastians and the Talea Ensemble. A dual Canadian-American citizen, Woods’ international career has led him to perform at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center Festival, Festival Pablo Casals, Darmstadt Institute, Festival Wien Modern, Golden Mask Festival and many others. He has performed at the Stern Auditorium, Zankell Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall; at Lincoln Center at Alice Tully and the Kaplan Penthouse; and at Trinity Wall Street, National Arts Centre in Ottowa, Musée des Beaux Arts in Montréal, and other important venues in Canada, Russia, China, South Korea and throughout Europe. He frequently collaborates with his wife, violinist Aubrey Smith Woods, as the Woodsmusick Duo, and with his father, pianist Rex Woods. At Brigham Young University, he is on the music faculty and a member of the Deseret String Quartet. As a baroque violinist, he has appeared with New York Baroque Incorporated, and is founder and director of the BYU Baroque Ensemble, an early music chamber orchestra performing on original instruments created by the Violin Making School of America. A prolific and highlyacclaimed recording artist, Woods can be heard on the Acis, Bridge, MSR Classics, Tantara and Tzadik labels. He studied at Yale University, Manhattan School of Music and University of Arizona. Alexander Woods plays a violin attributed to Lorenzo Guadagnini (1743) from the instrument collection of Brigham Young University.
[ woodsmusick.com ]
Violinist Aubrey Smith Woods is the concertmaster of the Ballet West Orchestra, the resident ensemble of the Ballet West Dance Company of Salt Lake City. In this role, Aubrey Woods, whose playing has been described as expressive and stylish, has performed solos at the Capitol Theater, Rose Wagner Theater and Eccles Theater. She has also been a full-time substitute member of the Utah Symphony and continues to perform with the ensemble frequently. She has also performed with NOVA, Intermezzo and the Park City Chamber Music Series. Equally at home on the baroque violin, Woods has performed with period groups New York Baroque Incorporated, the Sebastians and Musica Angelica. Previously a member of the Orchestra at Temple Square, she has performed in worldwide broadcasts and on recordings with the Tabernacle Choir and notable soloists, including Bryn Terfel and Renee Fleming. In addition, Woods appears frequently with husband Alexander as the Woodsmusick Duo and Ensemble. Woods holds the Master of Music degree from Brigham Young University, where she currently teaches as an adjunct faculty member, and plays a violin made by Enrico Marchetti (1884).
Since his first solo recital of more than 50 years ago, Rex Woods has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist throughout the United States and in Canada, France, China, Australia and Mexico. He has performed as a concerto soloist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Symphony, Mesa Symphony, Catalina Chamber Orchestra, Southern Arizona Symphony and University of Michoacán Chamber Orchestra. Recent chamber music appearances include recitals at Drew University, Humboldt State University, University of Utah and Brigham Young University. Woods received his musical education at Brigham Young University, University of Arizona, University of Southern California and American Conservatory at Fontainebleau. He received the Otto Guth Memorial Award from the San Francisco Opera Center and the Premier Prix de Fontainebleau in chamber music. Woods, who holds a Juris Doctor from Arizona State University, has served on the faculties of the University of Texas at Austin and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Since 1988, he has taught at the University of Arizona, and served as an administrator in the Fred Fox School of Music there for 15 years. In these recordings, he plays a Yamaha C7 grand piano.
Recorded 7-9 August 2019 and 18 February 2020 at Rosewood Recording Company, Provo, Utah. Producer: Alexander Woods and Christian Smith. Recording, editing and mastering engineer: Guy Randle.
PROGRAMANTONÍN DVORÁK (1841-1904)
FOUR ROMANTIC PIECES, OP.75, B.150 for violin and piano (1887)
I. Allegro moderato
II. Allegro maestoso
III. Allegro appassionato
WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING
CHRISTIAN ASPLUND (b.1964)
ONE ETERNAL ROUND for two violins (2015)
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791)
VIOLIN SONATA NO.26 IN B-FLAT MAJOR, K.378
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andantino sostenuto e cantabile
III. Rondeau – Allegro
WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING
NEIL THORNOCK (b.1977)
A CRUST OF AZURE for violin and piano (2013)
I. Tremulous Whirl
II. Refraction of Sky
III. Lavender Shroud