Modern American Works For Violin & Piano

Duo Dramatique
Dominika Dancewicz violin
Donald Doucet piano

Arthur Gottschalk composer
Karl Blench composer
Erberk Eryilmaz composer

Release Date: November 12, 2021
Catalog #: NV6380
Format: Digital
21st Century

True to their name, Duo Dramatique delivers fierce and thoughtful performances of genre-bending programs with an undercurrent of social and emotional issues. On CROSSROADS, violinist Dominika Dancewicz and pianist Donald Doucet perform three original works written to highlight their style and talents. Arthur Gottschalk’s Sonata for Violin and Piano pays homage to great jazz violinists of the 20th century, with echoes of “Bluesette” and “When Sunny Gets Blue.” Karl Blench’s Sonata “In D” For Violin and Piano traverses distinct moods, using music to depict sarcasm, humor, and quiet serenity. Erberk Eryilmaz’s Insistent Music draws inspiration from Eastern European folk music to close out the album with percussive patterns and bursting melodic lines.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Sonata for Violin and Piano: I. Grappelli (Fast Waltz) Arthur Gottschalk Duo Dramatique | Dominika Dancewicz, violin; Donald Doucet, piano 4:49
02 Sonata for Violin and Piano: II. Frigo (Lazy Ballad) Arthur Gottschalk Duo Dramatique | Dominika Dancewicz, violin; Donald Doucet, piano 5:56
03 Sonata for Violin and Piano: III. Venuti (Bebop) Arthur Gottschalk Duo Dramatique | Dominika Dancewicz, violin; Donald Doucet, piano 7:27
04 Sonata "In D" for Violin and Piano: I. Parody Karl Blench Duo Dramatique | Dominika Dancewicz, violin; Donald Doucet, piano 5:11
05 Sonata "In D" for Violin and Piano: II. Obscenity Karl Blench Duo Dramatique | Dominika Dancewicz, violin; Donald Doucet, piano 5:10
06 Sonata "In D" for Violin and Piano: III. Serenity Karl Blench Duo Dramatique | Dominika Dancewicz, violin; Donald Doucet, piano 8:04
07 Sonata "In D" for Violin and Piano: IV. Finality Karl Blench Duo Dramatique | Dominika Dancewicz, violin; Donald Doucet, piano 4:24
08 Insistent Music Erberk Eryilmaz Duo Dramatique | Dominika Dancewicz, violin; Donald Doucet, piano 9:29

Recorded May 31 and June 1-2, 2021 at the Shepherd School of Music Duncan Recital Hall in Houston TX
Recording Session Producer & Engineer Andy Bradley
Mastering Shaun Michaud

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Morgan Santos

General Manager of Audio & Sessions Jan Košulič
Production Director Levi Brown
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Sara Warner

Artist Information

Duo Dramatique

Duo Dramatique


Duo Dramatique, a renowned violin-piano ensemble based in Houston TX, has been hailed as “a force to be reckoned with” whose concerts have been described as “passionate and transporting.” Violinist Dominika Dancewicz and pianist Donald Doucet have earned recognition for their compelling, eclectic, and thought-provoking programs that include significant classical music from every era, as well as jazz, broadway, and pop. The duo’s programming is always thoughtfully planned to communicate with audiences beyond just the musical content. The ensemble creates contexts that introduce deeply affecting stories based on historic, social, and emotional issues featured in the music they perform.


Arthur Gottschalk


Arthur Gottschalk is Professor of Music Composition at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he founded and directed the school’s electronic music laboratories until 2002, and chaired the composition and theory department for 15 years. His early work as a studio musician led to his co-founding of Modern Music Ventures, Inc., a company which held a recording studio complex, a record production division, four publishing firms, and an artist management division, and for whom he produced records for the PolyGram and Capitol labels, among others.

Karl Blench

Karl Blench


Karl Blench is a composer and conductor who holds bachelor’s degrees in education and music theory from the University of New Hampshire, and a Master’s degree and DMA in composition from Rice University. His music has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Cuba. Recent engagements include performances of his works by the Shepherd School Chamber Symphony, the h2 Saxophone Quartet, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the University of New Hampshire and University of Houston Wind Ensembles.

Erberk Eryılmaz

Erberk Eryilmaz


Turkish-American composer and performer Erberk Eryılmaz is recognized for bringing the energy of the folk music of his homeland to the concert stage with a creative and dramatic approach. His compositions have been performed at some of the world’s most important concert venues such as Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, Cuba, and the National Gallery of Arts in Washington D.C.

He was selected to participate in the Moon Arts Project which will include his work, “Was her face the moon or sunlight?”, expected to be sent to the Moon in 2021. This project will bring the first music to the Moon and the work received its premiere at NASA, next to Saturn V, history’s largest rocket.

His compositions and performances have been featured multiple times on Turkish State Radio and American Public Media’s Performance Today and have received praise by Fanfare Magazine, Andante, CNN Turk, Cumhuriyet, Hürriyet, Sanattan Yansımalar, as well as the Washington Post, which describes his music as a “dervish-like explosion.” He has been featured on records released by MSR Classics, Naxos, Albany Records, Innova Recordings, Wirripang, and Parma Recordings.

As a composer, pianist, conductor, and folk percussionist, he has collaborated with many important ensembles including the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey, Houston Symphony, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Fairfax Symphony, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, Austin Camerata, Apollo Chamber Players, and Carpe Diem, Tesla and Del Sol String Quartets, ZOFO Duet, as well as the Bowen McCauley Dance Company.

Eryılmaz has received numerous awards including BNY Mellon Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, Sallie Shepherd Perkins Prize for Best Achievement at Rice University, the Diemente Prize at the Hartt School and top prizes at the Van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence, Silberman Chamber Music Competition, Carnegie Mellon University’s Harry G. Archer Orchestra Composition Competition and String Quartet Composition Competition.

In 2015, Erberk Eryılmaz and his wife Laura Krentzman established Hoppa Project with aims to promote music from Eastern Europe and the Middle East by performing the music of the region with a wide range of styles from folk to newly commissioned contemporary music. Hoppa Project has collaborated with varied artists such as Ismail Lumanovski, Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, Shawn Conley, Beth Bahia Cohen, Ayşe Göknur Şanal, Yiğit Kolat, Özkan Manav, and Kamran İnce.

Eryılmaz received his education at Samsun Municipality Conservatory, Ankara State Conservatory, the Hartt School (Bachelor of Music), Carnegie Mellon University (Master of Music and Artist Diploma), and Rice University (Doctor of Musical Arts). He is teaching composition at the Ankara Music and Fine Arts University.

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The Sonata for Violin and Piano was commissioned in 2019 by Dominika Dancewicz and Donald Doucet, the musicians of Duo Dramatique. And because that’s a lot of Ds, the pitch-class D features prominently in this three-movement work. More truthfully, each movement is an homage to a great jazz violinist of the previous century: Stéphane Grappelli, Johnny Frigo, and Joe Venuti, respectively. Echoes of Grappelli’s signature tune “Bluesette” can be heard in the first movement, a “Fast Waltz.” Snippets of “When Sunny Gets Blue” may be heard in the second movement, marked “Lazy Ballad,” at just a bit over one beat per second. The last movement, however, is a tour-de-force on a Bebop tune of my own creation, and it is simply entitled “Venuti.” I encourage everyone to explore the recordings of these great musicians of the past, just as this work does its best to keep their memories alive.

— Arthur Gottschalk

When I was commissioned to write a piece for Duo Dramatique I instantly noticed that both Dominika’s and Donald’s initials are D.D., which is also true for the name of the group. For me it seems obvious that the pitch D would play an important role throughout the piece. Hence the title, Sonata “In D.” The work is in four movements that each focuses on a particular idea or mood. The fi rst two movements, “Parody” and “Obscenity,” are connected and are both full of sarcasm and humor (look for the actual parody of Vaughan-Williams’s Lark Ascending in the first movement). The third part, “Serenity,” is a quiet response to the first two, and the last one, “Finality,” is a virtuosic moto perpetuo that combines various elements from the previous movements.

— Karl Blench

Insistent Music, a five-part work with seamlessly connected movements, is inspired by the folk music of Eastern Europe. The music of that region has endless energy and an insistent optimistic attitude towards sad life events. These inspirations present themselves as a variety of repeated percussive patterns and bursting melodic lines evoking the folk string playing styles of Eastern Europe. The piece exists in two different instrumentations: for violin and piano, commissioned by the Duo Dramatique, and also for piano quintet.

— Erberk Eryilmaz