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Published on Nov 18, 2009
Marga Richter composed the Aria & Toccata for Viola and String Orchestra for Walter Trampler at the request of M-G-M Records in the fall months of 1956. The work exists in an alternate version for viola and piano and it is in this form that it has been played most widely by Mr. Trampler since its successful recital introduction at the Library of Congress in Washington shortly after its completion. The profile of the music is completely representative of Miss Richter compositional style as those who have become familiar with the recordings of her Sonata for Piano, her Lament for Strings and her Concerto for Piano, Violas Cellos and Basses will note immediately. The composers vocabulary bears certain characteristic ear-marks: long-lined melody, and extraordinary sense of developmental architectronics, complexly dissonant harmony, austere yet somehow super-charged emotionality. The Aria and Toccata makes great demands upon the technique of the soloist and the writing for strings is firm and impressively sound. All in all, this affecting work is an extremely valuable addition to the repertoire of the viola, a short yet profound utility piece which should find wide performance for itself.
Marga Richter was born in Reedsburg, Wisconsin on October 21, 1926. Her mother, the late Inez Chandler-Richter, was a noted soprano, who, at an early age, left her native America to find great success in German opera houses. Later, she supervised Miss Richters early musical training at home and prepared her for eventual study at the MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis. During her early teens, Miss Richter was awarded several piano prizes and scholarships. When she was fourteen, she won the Countess Helena Morztyn Scholarship and went to New York City for study with that famous teacher. Two years later, she entered Luiiard School of Music, where she undertook, piano study with Roslyn Tureck. Midway in her studies, she decided to concentrate upon composition. Her principal composition teachers at Julliard were Vincent Persichetti and William Bergsma. Almost simultaneously with the winning of her Masters Degree at Julliard, she was honored by a Composers Forum program of her music in New York City.
In this performance the M-G-M String Orchestra is conduced by Carlos Surinach.
[Notes from the original M-G-M Long-Playing Microgoove Record, designed for reproduction on turntables revolving at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute.]