-The American Organist Magazine
American Weavings: Viola and organ proves to be an awesome combination Gramophone, July 2011 Lawrence Vittes Although most of us rarely have the opportunity to hear the organ in a musical relationship with a solo instrument of the string family, it makes an immensely suitable companion. The organ's innate ability to modulate volume allows the strings to relax, and not worry about having a place in the melodic content or getting lost in any harmonic mazes with which the composer may embroider the musical fabric. Based on this new CD, it is an awesome combination when the instrument is the viola and the music, as it is in each piece on this recital, is noble in intent. The subtlety with which the two instruments interact and blend will open up your hearing. Christopher Gable's 16-minute long Teshuvah is the most emotionally powerful music on the programme. Gable, who studied with Dominick Argento, Judith Lang Zaimont and Emma Lou Diemer, evokes a voyage of personal atonement through the voice of the viola, against which the organ provides sumptuous, compassionate upholstery. Augusta Read Thomas's two solo viola pieces operate on a mesmerising plane anchored in a Bachian sense of line and structure, and bombarded with echoes and reflections. The rest of the music is less memorable. Respectively based at the Eastman School of Music and St. Olaf College (in Northfield, Minnesota), the Rodland sisters play with charisma and style, and Carol makes Teshuvah sound as if it could have legs as a concerto. The sound of the Holtkamp organ in the St. Olaf chapel is captured with space, size, and ease. The booklet-notes, as always with Crystal, mix the composers' notes with the performers' comm
Organ and Viola
The Rodland sisters, Carol, violist, and Catherine, organist, began making music together as children. Their individual careers as award-winning performers and teachers have taken them all over the world, and they began performing together professionally as the Rodland Duo in 2002.
Recent Rodland Duo performances have included residencies and recitals throughout the United States, both in university settings such as the Eastman School of Music, St. Olaf College, Indiana University, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and on various independent concert series. They were featured recitalists at both the 2016 American Guild of Organists National Convention in Houston, Texas, and at the 2016 American Viola Society Festival in Oberlin, Ohio. They have also performed at the Luna Nova New Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee, and at the 38th International Viola Congress in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Actively engaged in commissioning new works for their unusual combination of instruments as well as creating their own arrangements of existing compositions, their repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the contemporary. Critics have called The Rodland Duo’s performances “stunning” and “beyond praise”. American Weavings, their acclaimed recording on the Crystal Records label, led Gramophone to declare viola and organ “an awesome combination”. Commissions and premieres have included works of Adolphus Hailstork, John Weaver, Christopher Gable, and Craig Phillips.
In addition to their active performing careers, they are both dedicated teachers: Carol is Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at the Juilliard School in New York City and Catherine is Artist in Residence in Organ and Theory at Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Their numerous individual accolades include top prizes at international competitions, such as the Washington International Competition, the Artists International Auditions, the American Guild of Organists National Competition, and the University of Michigan Organ Competition. For further information, please visit www.carolrodland.com or email them at: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.