Daedalus Quartet (Ara Gregorian, solo violin) ; Ming-Hsiu Yen, piano
solo vln; strg trio; pno
"How can comsic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important fucntion of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it."
- Albert Einstein
The title Awaken This Feeling comes from this quote from Albert Einstein about the role of art and science to inspire a sense of cosmic order in the world. The work begins with slowly descending, dream-like scales performed by the string trio and piano, representing Einstein's thoughts. Out of these scales, emerge Bach-like arpeggiations from the solo violin, representing Einstein's desire to awaken a sense of cosmic order. As the solo violin spins longer and longer patterns, the supporting ensemble continues to echo the opening descending scales, until the motive returns more amplified to close the first section of the piece. The solo violinist then takes up the descending scalar motive, winding it into a long, aching melody accompanied by drones in the string trio and echoes of the Bach-like figurations in the piano. After reaching its climax, the piece begins again with the Bach figurations, this time driving to a conclusion of spiritual affirmation.
Awaken This Feeling (for solo violin, string trio, and piano) was premiered by pianist Ming-Hsiu Yen and the Daedalus Quartet with Ara Gregorian, solo violin; Min-Young Kim, violin; Jessica Thompson, viola; and Raman Ramakrishnan, cello on May 8, 2011 at the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
The work was written as part of the Einstein in Hong Kong exhibition, celebrating sixty years of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and China and originally commissioned by the Connections Chamber Music Series for an earlier version for string quartet and vibraphone.
Ming-Hsiu Yen, piano
Ara Gregorian, solo violin; Min-Young Kim, violin; Jessica Thompson, viola; Raman Ramakrishnan, cello
Concert Hall, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
May 8, 2011