Pulling strings: Hannah Ad­dario-Berry

Pasatiempo - - RANDOM ACTS -

Scor­datura, which has fig­ured in the tech­nique of string play­ers since the 16th cen­tury, refers to de­lib­er­ately tun­ing one or more strings on an in­stru­ment to pitches dif­fer­ent from those in stan­dard us­age. Play­ing in scor­datura can be tem­po­rar­ily un­nerv­ing for play­ers, but once they get the hang of it, the tech­nique can broaden their pos­si­bil­i­ties of range, tone col­ors, and har­monic com­bi­na­tions. Al­though cel­lists need to use scor­datura oc­ca­sion­ally in Baroque reper­toire, the prac­tice grew in­fre­quent in the 18th and 19th cen­turies; 20th­cen­tury com­posers re­vived it. One of the most mon­u­men­tal ex­am­ples ar­rived in the Sonata for Solo Cello writ­ten in 1915 by Zoltán Kodály. Here, the cel­list tunes the in­stru­ment’s four strings to B', F-sharp, d, and a (rather than the stan­dard C,G, d, and a), yield­ing a darker tim­bre over­all. Bay Area cel­list Hannah Ad­dario-Berry, for­merly a mem­ber of the Del Sol String Quar­tet, cel­e­brates the cen­ten­nial of Kodály’s Sonata by pro­gram­ming it along with re­cent solo-cello works she has com­mis­sioned from six young con­tem­po­rary com­posers, each of their pieces us­ing the same al­tered tun­ing Kodály em­ployed. The recital takes place at 7 p.m. on Fri­day, Oct. 30, at the San Miguel Chapel, 401 Old Santa Fe Trail. A sug­gested do­na­tion of $20 may be con­trib­uted at the door. — James M. Keller

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