Appalachian Inspiration

Appalachian Chamber Music Vol 3

John Beall composer

Stephen Beall viola
Carol Beall piano
Mikylah Myers McTeer violin
Andrea Priester Houde viola
William Skidmore cello
Andrew Kohn double bass
James Miltenberger piano

Release Date: April 29, 2014
Catalog #: RR7887
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
String Quartet

Illustrating the impact of Appalachian folk music on his often unconventional yet appealingly direct style, APPALACHIAN INSPIRATION, composer John Beall’s debut album on Ravello Records, features three piano and string pieces that display a strong, expressive grasp of folk tunes and traditional classical techniques.

Sonata for Viola and Piano (2003) uses a modified yet identifiable sonata form with its principal phrases taken from the folk song The Rejected Lover, while Beall’s muse for Quintet for Piano and Strings (2009) is Schubert and his “Trout” Quintet, which utilizes the double bass as opposed to the more conventional second violin in the string quartet. Emulating this string ensemble, Beall presents a spirited yet tender four-movement piece, highlighting W.S. Merwin’s poem “December Among the Vanished.” In the final piece, Wondrous Love Variations (1999), Beall manipulates the popular American hymn Wondrous Love, reframing its simplicity with striking harmonies, driving rhythms, and references to another folk tune Tender Thought.


Hear the full album on YouTube


Choose your platform

Artist Information

John Beall


John Beall, a native Texan born in 1942, has been Composer in Residence at West Virginia University since 1978. Through his increasing devotion to hymn and folk sources of West Virginia and the surrounding Appalachian country, he has undergone a sort of musical adoption. He himself is a string player (bass, cello) and pianist, he is also the father of another musician, violist Stephen Beall, and husband of pianist Carol Allen Beall. His love of string playing, and the combinations of strings with the piano resound through many of his greatest works of chamber music.