solo viola & string orchestra (piano reduction) 14′
Rodrigo Teixeira de Freitas
Rodrigo Teixeira de Freitas, HKU Conservatorium van Utrecht, the Netherlands, June 2021
Parts and score (PDF) available on this website € 60,- (after premiere), piano reduction € 15,-
Lago is a teacher of arranging at HKU Conservatorium of Utrecht in the Netherlands and there he met a young viola-player from the Portuguese island of Madeira; Rodrigo Teixeira de Freitas. They had an instantaneous click and later Lago met de Freitas when he was leading the viola section of the Sweelinck Orchestra premiering his ‘Ríos’ for clarinet quartet and symphony orchestra. In the aftermath of a rehearsal they decided to collaborate in a piece for viola solo and string orchestra.
‘Árvores Vermelhas’ is the result and takes its title from a poem by the Madeiran poet Herberto Hélder: ‘Pedras cuadrades, árvores vermelhas’ in which he writes about his beloved island of birth. It is a very lyrical piece and yet very virtuoso at the same time. It was de Freitas’ wish to be really challenged and although Lago did not overdo it only a very gifted viola-player will be able to perform ‘Árvores’.
The viola is sometimes being described as the ‘imperfect’ string instrument and this maybe true where its dimensions are concerned, but for Lago it is his favorite string instrument. It was a longstanding wish to write a substantial work for the instrument. The ideal combination of the brownish depth of the lower strings and the mild yet powerful expression of the higher strings is what Lago tried to highlight in this chamber concerto.