Surface to Air is a musical exploration of emotional terrains, built as a journey in perpetual motion from darkness into light. Commencing the program is Prokofiev’s epic masterpiece, the Violin Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 80, a riveting monument to futility and strife, brutality and tenderness. Chilling, whispered scales haunt the emotional soul of the work “like the wind in a graveyard.” From this dark vista of enclosure, “Surface to Air” journeys upward to landscapes of openness, spaciousness, and joyous freedom. Christopher Cerrone’s soaring Violin Sonata enfolds as one uplifting, harmonious crescendo that comes full circle, joining together the violin and piano as a single textural “hyper-instrument.” Its minimalist rhythmic drive finds a counterpart in John Adams’s Road Movies, which captures the motoric energy and relaxed meditation of a drive through America’s rolling landscape. In many ways a precursor to the Cerrone, Ravel’s stunningly sensual Violin Sonata evokes an incredible array of colors and temperatures, while detouring along its way for an exquisite take on the American blues before a sonorous and thrilling perpetuum mobile finale. In its maneuvering between darkness and light, and its sense of perpetual movement against the stillness of space, “Surface to Air” brings together works that conjure up images and arouse the sensory imagination to take flight.


Prokofiev, Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 80
Christopher Cerrone, Violin Sonata
John Adams, Road Movies
Ravel, Violin Sonata