“Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.”
Why this work? Why now?
We are living through incredibly dark, stressful, and eventful times that test our individual and collective civilized and law-abiding mettle. False leaders peddling long-discredited, age-old “solutions” are again on the ascent and spreading globally like fire. Like Dante, our “straightforward pathway” seems lost in the forest dark. Inferno, a double concerto for viola, cello, and chamber orchestra is written in response. It refers to Dante’s Inferno, the first book of his Divine Comedy, for inspiration, and as a metaphor, but will not explicitly track his poem.
The basic three-movement shape of the double concerto echoes Dante’s narrative:
- Our Straightforward Pathway Has Been Lost
- False Prophets Sing So Seductively
- The Ninth Circle; We came forth, and once more saw the stars
About the Artistic Team
Our collaborators for Inferno are pretty extraordinary.
Joel Phillip Friedman – composer
Joel’s varied portfolio includes work for small and large ensembles, musical theater, opera, dance, film, jazz, and rock. His music is characterized by rhythmic energy, a fine balance between expressive power and playful wit, a sense of dramatic narrative and formal clarity, and melodic and harmonic inventiveness.
Hear from Joel | Visit Website
Murray Horwitz – lyricist
Murray is a Tony Award-winning playwright and lyricist, who has worked with a variety of classical, jazz, and pop music composers. His work has appeared on and off-Broadway, at the Metropolitan Opera, and in theaters and symphonies around the country.
Maestra Barbara Day Turner – founder and music director of the award-winning San José Chamber Orchestra, lead commissioner.
Maestra Barbara Day Turner co-commissioned Joel’s string orchestra piece Movable Home in 2015. She is both a consummate musician and a visionary, and it’s exciting to have her and her San José Chamber Orchestra jump aboard early once more.
Hear from the SJCO | Visit Website
Jonathan Moerschel – viola soloist
Recipient of the 2014 Avery Fischer Career Grant, Jonathan is probably best known as a member of the stellar Calder String Quartet. He is also Lecturer of Viola and Chamber Music at the University of California Santa Barbara and a very active studio session player in Los Angeles.
Hear from Jonathan | Visit Website
Jennifer Kloetzel – cello soloist
Fulbright winner and celebrated cellist with the renowned Cypress String Quartet, Jennifer is a sought-after soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist. She is a colleague of Jonathan’s at University of California Santa Barbara where she is Assistant Professor of Cello and Head of Strings.
Hear from Jennifer | Visit Website