Marshall to showcase Violauta Duo performance

Staff Report

Dr. Júlio Ribeiro Alves, right, on guitar and Dr. Wendell Dobbs on flute.

Dr. Júlio Ribeiro Alves, right, on guitar and Dr. Wendell Dobbs on flute.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University’s School of Music and Theatre will present a chamber music performance of the Violauta Duo at 7:30 p.m. Sept.17, in the forum of the Jomie Jazz Center, which is adjacent to Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on Marshall’s Huntington campus.

The free recital, featuring Dr. Júlio Ribeiro Alves on guitar and Dr. Wendell Dobbs on flute, is themed after Raffaele Bellafronte’s “The Way of My Senses,” which is the first piece on the program. Germinating from a simple dialogue of long notes between the flute and the guitar, the piece depicts a journey through the senses by a collage of different moods given by sectional shifts in texture, density, tempo and register.

“Our goal is to offer an opportunity for all to experience scents, flavors, textures and images through the various sounds, silences, echoes, rhythms, melodies and harmonies that we will produce during the performance,” Alves said.

Alves and Dobbs will also perform “November Landscapes” and “Tell me a Story,” pieces recently composed for the Violauta Duo by guitarist and composer Giorgio Signorile, who, together with flutist Paolo Dalmoro, shared their musical talents with the university and community as Joan C. Edwards Distinguished Professors of the Arts last month.

“During his residency at Marshall, Signorile explained that, as a composer, he believes in the importance of ‘writing music that people can enjoy and feel relaxed,’” Alves said. “The pieces certainly do justice to his statement.”

Another piece in the program, Katherine Hoover’s “Canyon Echos,” inspired by a folktale on the universal themes of love and loss, is marked by constant and sudden meter changes, percussive sounds and the mysterious quasi-improvised melodies emphasizing the echo effect.

“These elements are certain to engage the audience during the recital,” Alves said.

With the support of the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, Dobbs and guitarist Leo Welch also recorded “Canyon Echos” in 1996 on the critically-acclaimed CD “Flute & Company” on the Leonarda label. The piece was commissioned and premiered by Duologue, with Susan Morris on flute and Jeffrey Van on guitar.

The Violauta Duo’s program will conclude with Lowell Lieberman’s Sonata Op. 25, a two-movement piece that will assuredly stimulate the senses. The ethereal mood of Nocturne results from the flute’s lyrical melody and the gradual, controlled meter changes in the guitar’s accompaniment pattern. It largely contrasts with the “tour-de-force” character of the second movement, where elements of classical music and heavy metal are simultaneously explored in the restless duel of virtuosic playing by the flute and the guitar.

Alves serves as associate professor of guitar and also teaches music theory and aural skills at Marshall, while Dobbs is a professor of flute.

To learn more about Marshall University’s music program, visit

Dr. Júlio Ribeiro Alves, right, on guitar and Dr. Wendell Dobbs on flute. Júlio Ribeiro Alves, right, on guitar and Dr. Wendell Dobbs on flute.

Staff Report