Canfield: Maesta for Violin, Viola and Double Bass
Code: JP9020 ISMN: 979-0-3019-0527-2
In 1986, David DeBoor Canfield received a commission from the Minneapolis Artists Ensemble specifically for a work for violin, viola and double bass, doubtless because of the paucity of works for that combination. The title is the Italian word for majesty, and was brought to the composer's mind from the wonders of creation he had witnessed during a trip he and his wife had shortly before made through the western part of the US. Additionally, the title can also be considered an acrostic for the Minneapolis Artists Ensemble String Trio Adventure.
The work shows influences from some of Canfield's favorite composers, including Bartok and Stravinsky, but melded into a personal style. The outer movements are vigorous and somewhat astringent in tonality, with occasional biting rhythms, dissonances and jazz sonorities. The more lyrical middle movement is characterized by a plaintive line in the violin in its upper register.