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Lara St. John is locked down in NYC but celebrating 'Key of A' / Central Michigan University Radio

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Violinist Lara St. John has released her new album 'Key of A' with pianist Matt Herskowitz. The album 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.

Says Lara 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."

Lara spoke about the new album with Central Michigan University Radio - Mosaic host David Nicholas. LISTEN