Cristina Spinei is a pianist and composer best known for her work with the ballet, which seems appropriate since she grew up dreaming of becoming a ballerina. This piece, Il Nodo, was premiered at an album-release concert at National Sawdust in February—with Alicia Enstrom on violin and the composer herself at the piano—and has been used in a new dance by the Charlotte Ballet.
On her inspiration for the piece, Spinei says: “Il Nodo is the violin and piano duet from Ex Voto—a collection of nine pieces for piano, cello, and violin. I wanted to create music that is more personal and exposed than anything else that I have written. The inspiration for this work came from a visit to the Cloisters in New York and from my Catholic, Italian-American upbringing. The term “ex voto” comes from the Latin ex voto suscepto, “from the vow made” and is an offering to a saint or divinity given in fulfillment of a vow in gratitude or devotion. The violin lines of Il Nodo are supposed to sound like a prayer. I always love composing for violin because of its intense and dynamic range of expression!”