SUNDAYS@7, Hasse Borup, violin, Heather Conner, piano, Libby Gardner Concert Hall, Sept. 30

Hasse Borup

History was made Sunday in Libby Gardner Concert Hall when violinist Hasse Borup and pianist Heather Conner gave the world premiere of a lost violin sonata by the American composer Vincent Persichetti.

It was Borup who uncovered the unpublished work while researching Persichetti’s music for a grant proposal. The two-movement Sonata for Violin and Piano, op. 15, stems from 1941, a time when the composer, who passed away in 1987, was still finding his own voice. Yet the music also shows an emerging style reminiscent of his mature works. It’s actually a well crafted piece that deserves to be heard.

Heather Conner

Borup and Conner, colleagues at the University of Utah, gave a vibrant reading of the work that was nuanced and brought out the interplay between the two instruments. Borup’s warm tone emphasized the expressiveness of the slow opening movement, while both players captured the rhythmic vitality of the ensuing allegro with their exuberant yet lyrical account.

Sunday’s program was devoted exclusively to Persichetti’s music and included all of his works for violin and piano, none of which have been recorded. Often, a program like this, especially with music by a fairly unknown composer, can be taxing for the audience. But to their credit, Borup and Conner brought an unmistakable enthusiasm to their playing that did much to make each of these works distinctive and come alive.

In addition to the premiere, the two also played the Masques and the Serenade No. 4, whose Pastorale and Interlude contain some of the most lyrical and expressive music heard on the program.

Also played was the Sonata for Solo Violin, op. 10, and the six piano sonatinas.

Borup and Conner will record this program soon for release on the Naxos label.

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About Edward Reichel

Edward Reichel, author, writer and composer, has been covering the classical music scene in Utah since 1997. For many years he served as the primary music critic for the Deseret News. He has also written for a number of publications, including Chamber Music Magazine, OPERA Magazine, 15 Bytes, Park City Magazine and Salt Lake Magazine. He holds a Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He can be reached at ed.reichel@gmail.com. Reichel Recommends is also on Twitter @ReichelArts.

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