Ispirare consists of contemporary music for viola and the pieces that inspired their creation. Melia Watras wanted to build a program around works that were not only engaging to perform and listen to, but also provided a creative spark for other composers. Atar Arad, Melia’s viola professor when she was a student at Indiana University, is a wonderful composer, in addition to being a brilliant violist and pedagogue. He has described his set of viola caprices as “thank you notes to composers who graced us with great viola pieces.” The “George” in the title of his fourth caprice is George Rochberg. In addition to quoting the Rochberg Sonata for Viola and Piano, Atar also includes a musical reference to George by setting the caprice, with the exception of the opening phrase, entirely on the G string of the viola. In another connection on this recording, Atar’s daughter, the beautiful singer Galia Arad, is featured in Black is the color…by Luciano Berio.