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Hillside Concerts - violin/piano version of How Did It Get So Late So Soon?

April 8, 2017 - Hillside Concerts.  Bob Cowart's classic Berkeleyconcert series presented the preview performance of the 2nd and 3rd movements of a violin/piano version of my 2016 concerto, "How Did It Get So Late So Soon?," performed by Karen Bentley Pollick and Marja Mutru. This was my first opportunity to have the pleasure of working with Ms. Mutru, who also was extremely helpful in advising me on the piano arrangement. 

Sharps and Flatirons Review of Boulder Chamber Orchestra performance of "How Did It Get So Late So Soon"


Review of November 11, 2016 Boulder Chamber Orchestra performance of "How Did It Get So Late So Soon?" is on the Sharps & Flatirons web site, a blog by Peter Alexander. Link to review is here. Excerpts below...

This highly personal but unmistakably American work [How Did It Get So Late So Soon?] received a vigorous performance from the orchestra and Pollick, for whom the concerto was written, and by whom it was premiered in Lithuania Aug. 27.

A former bluegrass musician, Jaffe has filled the score with quotes and references to American music from the blues to the protest music of the 1930s. You may not hear the Woody Guthrie song he quotes, but the overall tone will be familiar to American audiences. The blues inflections, the outbreaks of Appalachian fiddling, the folk-tune-like melodies all come from a world we recognize.

There are portions of the concerto that sound as American as anything by Copland. But these ideas are always refracted thought a Charles Ives-ian sensibility, so that the music never settles into an extensive folkish groove. To my ears, that makes it all the more interesting: you never know what will happen next, but it all hangs together in a fascinating mélange. Bravo to Saless and the BCO for programming a work that deserves to be heard widely.


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"Boulder Chamber Orchestra presents music grown from friendship"

by Peter Alexander, Boulder Weekly, November 9, 2016. Link to article is here.. Excerpts below. . .

“I strongly believe music is made between people who know each other,” [Karen Bentley Pollick] says. “The history of music is people writing with and for people that they’re fond of.” . . . “What really appealed to me was how clever [Jaffe’s music] was written for the violin, because he was a violinist,” Pollick says. She also loved his mixing of idioms across many different styles. “He has such a grounding in roots music,” she says. “Blues, folk music — it’s all in there. And it feels good to play on violin.” . . . “This concerto could only have been written by an American vernacular composer,” she says. “There’s a familiarity for anybody who comes from American music — they’ll feel immediately connected with this piece. . . . “My dream is to unite our audience through the celebration of eloquent varieties of American music, and the U.S. premiere of the violin concerto, creating a transcendent and memorable experience for all present.”

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