COMPOSER 1945–2013

Opus 124

Minyan (2013)

for Viola and Guitar

Duration: 7.5 min.

Dedication: to Louise Schulman and Bill Zito

Premiere: 2014; L. Schulman; B. Zito; Merkin Hall, New York, NY

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Minyan, subtitled “a rhapsodic duet,” was Arnold Rosner’s final composition—written for the duo of violist Louise Schulman and guitarist Bill Zito. Schulman and Zito had originally requested that Rosner transcribe his A Duet for Violas for their duo combination, but despite increasingly failing health in the final year of his life, Rosner decided instead to write a new work specifically for this unusual, but very effective, pair of instruments.

The title refers to the quorum of ten Jewish adults required for certain ceremonial functions. In this case, Rosner (who had a lifelong love for “number play”) said he chose the title because a guitar has six strings and a viola has four strings: thus ten strings coming together to make music. He himself described the work as “an introduction and allegro,” although the sections of slow and fast music are of basically equal length. (Notes by Carson Cooman)