Van de Vate, Nancy Website
of Vienna, Austria
"Van de Vate knows her stuff." (American Record Guide)
Sonata for piano
13'48" $8.00 #040082 AP-120
Recording: Vienna Modern Masters CD 2003
"sweeps, swells, and a harmonic language associated with late Romanticism" (Fanfare)
Nancy Van de Vate's first extended work for solo piano, was composed in Honolulu in 1978. A rather Romantic piece, its sonorities are rich and full, its melodies poignant, its technique bravura and its mood appassionato. The first movement is a free fantasy built on an underlying accelerando with the beat divided first into two parts, then three, four and finally six. A pensive opening gradually becomes a frenetic finale.
The second movement is a simple three-part form with an abbreviated return of the opening material. Its middle section is a long melody in Brahmsian sixths and thirds, accompanied in the left hand by an unremitting two-note ostinato. The third movement, also in three-part form, opens with a perpetuum mobile in the piano's lowest register. It gradually moves to the upper end of the keyboard, then drops down again. A lyric middle section interrupts the perpetuum mobile, which finally returns and concludes the Sonata.
Suite for Solo Violin
9' $7.00 #040100 AP-710
Recording: Vienna Modern Masters CD 2006
"Most impressive [is] the skillfully written Violin Suite..." (American Record Guide)
The Suite was begun at Yaddo, the artist's colony in Saratoga Springs, New York, in July, 1974 and completed in Knoxville, Tennessee in May, 1975, after having been set aside for some months. It was premiered at the New School in New York City in December, 1976 by Martha Caplin.The work is in five contrasting movements, all of which are free forms. The first, fourth, and fifth movements employ primarily conventional playing techniques, and each is unified by the use of recurring motives or melodic material. The second and third movements are somewhat more avant-garde and employ special effects to achieve their coloristic aims. The slow, lyric fourth movement is a strict twelve-tone composition; however, no other elements are serialized. (Notes by the composer.)
Six Etudes for Solo Viola
7'45" $ 6.50 #040099 AP-709
Recording: Vienna Modern Masters CD2003
Composed in 1969, in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Six Etudes were premiered at Lincoln Center in 1974 by Jacob Glick. They are straightforward twelve-tone works in which pitch is the only element serialized.The set begins and ends with slow, lyric pieces; the fourth etude is also slow. The second and third etudes are fast and somewhat playful, and the fifth exploits irregular rhythmic groupings and shifting accents. Composed in the classical etude tradition of free-form works built on limited motivic/melodic material, these pieces are technically demanding and suitable for concert presentation. (Notes by the composer.)
Trio for Strings
14'40" Score and parts $9.00 #040101 AP-711 (Written for amateur performers.)
Recording: Vienna Modern Masters CD 2006
"calculated simplicity" (American Record Guide)
Van de Vate's Trio continues the tradition of Gebrauchsmusik considered to have begun with Bach and eloquently articulated in our own century by Hindemith and Krenek. The three-movement work was composed in 1974 for the 1975 Stowe Chamber Music Competition (USA), which sought works simple enough to be sight-read by amateur musicians. It was begun in Knoxville, Tennessee and completed at Yaddo. Winning Third Prize among almost two hundred entries, it was premiered in Stowe, Vermont in August, 1975.
Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, Nancy Van de Vate now lives in Vienna, Austria. She studied at the Eastman School of Music and Wellesley College, received a Master's degree in composition from the University of Mississippi, and a Doctor of Music degree, also in composition, from Florida State University. Postdoctoral work was in electronic music.
Concentrating mostly on music in the large forms, she has composed more than twenty works for orchestra and orchestra with chorus. She also has a large catalog of chamber music and works for solo instruments. In 1990 she returned to the composition of opera, an early interest set aside for many years. More than forty of her orchestral, music theater, chamber and solo works appear on Aulos, Cambria, Leonarda, Louisiana Sinfonietta, and Vienna Modern Masters CDs. All of her compositions are in the Music Collection of the Austrian National Library in Vienna, and her orchestral work Chernobyl is included in intermediate music textbooks for study by school children throughout Germany and Austria. In 1989, 1993 and 1997 she was a nominator for the quadrennial Kyoto Prize in Music, the world's largest music award.
Arsis Press has published her Sonata for Piano, Six Etudes for Solo Viola, Suite for Solo Violin, and Trio for Strings.
Quotes by Women of Note