Author Topic: Favorite Viola Concerti.  (Read 3622 times)

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Offline JBS

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2019, 10:58:50 AM »
Bach, Brandenburg #6
Telemann
Mozart, Sinfonia concertante (there is also a nice first movement fragment for a concertante for violin, viola, cello)
Bruch (w/ clarinet)
Hindemith, Trauermusik (admittedly, I don't much care for the "Schwanendreher")
Bartok

composers who should have written a viola concerto but didn't: Mozart, Brahms, Shostakovich

But Shostakovich did write one of the greatest viola sonatas in existence....

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Offline schnittkease

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2019, 02:01:35 PM »
Kancheli's Styx is a worthwhile work.

+1

Offline Iota

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2019, 03:18:51 PM »
Some great pieces mentioned above, some also which I don't know that I'll be interested to investigate (e.g the Hindemith op.11). I feel mention should also be made of Britten's Lachrymae, sort of meditations on a John Dowland song, originally for viola and piano, but later arranged by Britten for viola and string orchestra, (there's an excellent recording with Rysanov/Gardner on Chandos). It's not very long but in the right mood can be very affecting.

Online Herman

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2019, 11:03:23 PM »
Hindemith wrote a lot of chamber music for viola. Essential?

Absolutely essential.

The same goes for the three viola solo suites by Reger.

One of my favorite cds is Tabea Z. playing the three Reger suites with two Bach cello suites (nrs 1 and 2) on her viola.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 11:07:30 PM by Herman »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2019, 11:55:13 PM »
A lovely short work is the Romance for Viola and Piano by Vaughan Williams:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2019, 08:16:08 AM »
This has been very interesting. Lots of works to explore, and lots of works I already have in my collection that I didn't realize I should be listening to. That's best of all. :)

Offline Brewski

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2019, 08:43:04 AM »
No obscure revelations to add to the excellent choices in this thread (many of these I don't know), but adding another vote for the Schnittke -- one of his best works. I heard Yuri Bashmet do it live on several occasions, around the time he made his recording. Incredible energy and string writing. It's been reissued (I think), but here's the original:



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Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2019, 08:52:02 AM »
Yes, I've got it here.



A number of gems in that set (the Schnittke and Shostakovich Viola Sonata). Also some odd stuff, standard works transcribed to feature viola.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2019, 09:11:09 AM »
A number of gems in that set (the Schnittke and Shostakovich Viola Sonata). Also some odd stuff, standard works transcribed to feature viola.

The sonatas are marvelous, too. Have been contemplating that box for awhile -- would be good to hear him in some of those other works.

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Offline pjme

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2019, 09:30:21 AM »
After discovering Hersant's exquisite cantata "Cantique des trois enfants dans la fournaise", I stumbled upon this lovely work (from 2003) -played by Gérard Caussé! !

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ph94awSPEog" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ph94awSPEog</a>

Born: June 21, 1948 - Rome, Italy

The French composer, Philippe Hersant, was born in Rome. His studies included literature as well as music and he took harmony classes with Georges Hugon before entering André Jolivet's composition class at the Paris Conservatory in 1968, receiving his undergraduate degree in literature that same year. Resident at the Casa de Velásquez

From 1970 to 1972, Philippe Hersant went on to teach music and to become a producer at the radio station France Musiques. In 1978 he became a resident at the Villa Médicis thanks to the support of Henri Dutilleux and Gilbert Amy. It was during this period that he truly came into his own as a composer. Stances for orchestra thus became his new first opus and is the earliest work in his catalogue. This piece was followed by several other, more melancholic works such as Missa brevis, the chamber opera les Visites espacées (Avignon, 1983) and the opera le Château des Carpathes (1982), based on a work by Jules Verne. He composed a number of shorter and more dynamic works for small instrumental ensembles before returning to the orchestral and greater forms with his Second Concerto for cello and the ballet Hurlevent (Palais-Garnier, 2002). He is currently working on an opera based on a Chekhov story, The Black Monk, and this will be premiered by the Leipzig Opera in 2005.

Today, Philippe Hersant defines himself as a tonal composer willing to turn music’s entire heritage – from Monteverdi to Janacek to Stockhausen – to his advantage. As a composer, he lives by a few precepts : to be personal rather than to seek innovation at all costs, to avoid greyness and to surprise.
Source: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Hersant-Philippe.htm

Other viola works I really like (apart from RVW, Hindemith etc.):
William Schuman's ''Concerto on Old English Rounds for solo Viola, Women's Chorus and Orchestra''
https://youtu.be/VDbzzYKLSiE

Concertos by Martinu, Miklos Rozsa, Lubor Barta...
https://youtu.be/BoiLbIjkKGo

The very lovely double concerto (clarinet/viola) by Bruch.
I'm discovering now Pletnev's (very big) viola concerto: https://youtu.be/6IFa9W7shUM

And from Wallonia: Jean Rogister's touching "Adieu" for alto and strings. On the same cd is a recording of Rogister's viola concerto. Will report back later.
https://youtu.be/GvNvZJ1-BR8
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 12:39:49 AM by pjme »

Offline pjme

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2019, 10:03:31 AM »
Frankly, I don't have a "favorite" viola concerto (Flos campi is simply a favorite work) but this thread is inspiring and made me search my collection (and memories).

Well worth discovering: Leo Smit's 1940 concerto (very moving, sad slow movement)
https://youtu.be/9boHvn5CfSM

The concerto by Jean Rogister is a much more traditional, late romantic affair (written in 1914) - with César Franck and Camille Saint Saëns as main influence. Rogister is an interesting figure though- he played the alto in Stokowsky's Philadelphia Orch.

http://www.bayard-nizet.com/Rogister_en.html

https://youtu.be/BnR12FkN22Y
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 04:37:12 AM by pjme »

Offline DaveF

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2019, 03:50:49 AM »
I can hardly claim it as a favourite, having only just discovered it as a result of this thread (went looking for "viola concerto" on YouTube), but this is an immensely impressive piece (in less than impressive 1950s radio sound):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gBt0o_D3CI
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Offline pjme

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2019, 11:30:41 PM »
The wonderful voice of the viola keeps intriguiing me. Here are a few (tonal) works that caught my ears:

Peggy Glanville-Hicks lush "Concerto romantico" (1956)...with a fun finale à la Grecque.. : https://youtu.be/Hk8j_cng2Bg
William Henry Bell, Rosa Mystica (1916 - described as a gentle "Christmas meditation") : https://youtu.be/91k2V3OPo-4
Willy Burkhard: Concerto (1953) (cfr. Frank Martin / Paul Hindemith) : darkly poetical slow movement: https://youtu.be/cymItA6Fdkg
Hans Henkemans' 1954 quite stirring viola concerto : https://youtu.be/aa9iPRIEHoY

P.

Offline Biffo

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2019, 12:11:41 AM »
There is a very enjoyable album from Paul Coletti (viola) and Leslie Howard (piano) entitled English Music for Viola (Hyperion Helios). It has works by Britten, Bridge, Bax, RVW, Grainger and three pieces by Rebecca Clarke (a viola player herself).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2019, 08:10:04 PM »
Not a concerto, but just recently I played the orchestra part for the Theme and Variations for viola and orchestra (1940) by American composer Alan Shulman (1915-2002), whose music I had never encountered before. What a fine work, possibly a masterpiece! It sounds much more British than American, with gorgeous modal harmonies often reminiscent of Vaughan Williams (though by no means slavishly derivative). After progressing through several dancelike, virtuosic variations, the work concludes with a moving chorale and a spine-tingling postlude which concludes the work on a resigned note. There exist three different versions of the work - with full orchestra, string orchestra and harp, or piano. Of those, I prefer the version with string orchestra and harp, and all three can be found on YouTube. Highly recommended!!

https://youtu.be/tyUTRdstJow
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Online Herman

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2019, 10:01:07 PM »
Hindemith wrote a lot of chamber music for viola. Essential?
absolute core rep

Oh, I see I had already answered earlier in the same vein.

Let me add that I like that Hindemith just sees the viola as one of his favorite instruments; not as a the voice of doom and sadness, which is what a lot of composers do. I love the DSCH sonata, have listened to it for ages, but it is a little hard to take sometimes in its theatrical misery.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 10:06:32 PM by Herman »

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2019, 06:10:40 PM »
I gave the Shulman work a try and it was very good indeed, although I can't say whether it sounded more British than American. I listened to the orchestral version (link below), the recording was a bit dated (mono) but at least it was decent. Shulman also composed a cello concerto, which can be found on YouTube (one video per movement). I'm realizing YouTube is uploading much stuff directly from Naxos and other labels, recordings I'd never seen before.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Bz82WeWpVQY" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Bz82WeWpVQY</a>

Offline kyjo

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2019, 07:56:07 PM »
I gave the Shulman work a try and it was very good indeed, although I can't say whether it sounded more British than American. I listened to the orchestral version (link below), the recording was a bit dated (mono) but at least it was decent. Shulman also composed a cello concerto, which can be found on YouTube (one video per movement). I'm realizing YouTube is uploading much stuff directly from Naxos and other labels, recordings I'd never seen before.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Bz82WeWpVQY" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Bz82WeWpVQY</a>

Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, I listened to that recording of the full orchestral version as well and it's very good indeed, despite the dated sound quality.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline J

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2019, 04:29:20 PM »
Wallton's is my favourite and I much prefer it to the better known Violin Concerto. The viola was Vaughan Williams's own instrument and I also vote for Flos Campi. Rubbra's is another one I admire and an especially fine Viola Concerto by Stanley Bate, which should appeal to admirers of Vaughan Williams.

Walton, Rubbra, and Bate, yes, - but surprisingly given my antipathy for most of his other music, I'd include York Bowen's Viola Concerto in that company also.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 05:35:52 PM by J »

Offline Daverz

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Re: Favorite Viola Concerti.
« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2019, 04:40:30 PM »
Bloch: Viola Suite



And Martinu's Rhapsody Concerto
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 04:42:38 PM by Daverz »