The "Golden Era" of the mandolin lasted some 30 to 35 years, from the last quarter of the 19th century through the first or second decade of the 20th century . Despite the popularity their instrument held at the end of the 19th century, mandolin virtuosi of that time knew that their success might be short-lived. Mandolin notables such as Munier, Calace, and Pettine rose to the challenge to win respect for their chosen instrument with their skills as composers, players, teachers, writers, and even instrument makers. They wrote countless works for mandolin, and a choice selection of these vibrant and colorful works have been chosen for this disc to demonstrate the wide range of expression the mandolin is capable of in the hands of the virtuoso.
Richard Walz, mandolin, was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and began his musical studies with Albert Bellson. He subsequently studied music, musicology, and anthropology at the University of Minnesota. In addition to his activities in baroque, classical, and romantic music, Mr. Walz has participated in a number of contemporary works, including one of the first performances of George Crumb's "Voices of Ancient Children." Mr. Walz makes his home in France.
Mari Tomizuka, piano, was born in Chicago and raised in Tucson. She studied at the New England Conservatory of Music, and took a Certificate in Fortepiano from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Ms Tomizuka has won acclaim as a performer and recording artist in Europe and England.