Concerto for Viola


by Malcolm Arnold

viola and orchestra
Solo Instruments with Orchestra
1222 - 2000 - strings

Commissioned by Northern Arts

First Performance
13.10.71, Newcastle Festival, Market Hall, Carlisle:Northern Sinfonia/Arnold/Best

Score 0-571-50893-6, piano reduction and solo part 0-571-50567-8 on sale, parts for hire

Programme Notes

The viola is often thought of as a Cinderella instrument. Shy and retiring, it would not naturally have occurred to Arnold the extrovert as an obvious concerto vehicle. In his youth he wrote a beautiful Viola Sonata, and in 1971, to a commission from the Northern Sinfonia for a work for their principal viola, Roger Best, he wrote the fine Viola Concerto op 108. A first movement full of bustling semiquavers, and a brisk jig for the finale flank the heart of the work, an extended slow movement. This is a surprisingly forward-looking Andante, full of unexpected clashes and bitonal harmony, and patches where soloist and accompaniment are clearly at odds. Only at the end is real calm established, after the uneasy lyricism that has previously been the dominant mood.

© Piers Burton-Page Please contact Piers Burton-Page for permission to use this.

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