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Lara St. John discusses 'Key of A' with Spokane Public Radio

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Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John and collaborator, pianist Matt Herskowitz have released a new album; 'Key of A' which pairs Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 9, "Kreutzer" in A Major with Cesar Franck's Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano, and also includes Fritz Kreisler's Schön Rosmarin. Lara says about the program: "I'm a bit of a strange violinist, and when I was a kid, supposed to be learning all these normal works that folks do, instead I was learning Bartok solo sonata and Debussy, and Beethoven Concerto and 10th Sonata, and I just sort of missed some of these more ‘normal' pieces. I learned both of these sonatas rather late in life - in my late 20s. When I first asked Matt to do the Franck, which we have been playing together now for many years, I had performed it once or twice before, but had never been entirely free of normal pianists' ideas of 'tradition', which I found hobbling and somewhat nonsensical. As for the Beethoven 9 (Kreutzer), I had been waiting for a pianist who would be able to keep up with the extremes I envisioned for this piece, tempo and volume-wise. Obviously, old Ludwig wanted the pianist to improvise, which is what Matt does in the piano cadenzas."

Spokane Public Radio's Jim Tevenan chatted with Lara about her background and the new album. LISTEN