Fantasy and Farewell:
- Music for Viola and Orchestra.
From a historical perspective, the viola has typically served as an ensemble instrument in orchestras, string quartets, etc. Its role as a solo instrument was largely restricted to recital music like viola solo sonatas or other works with piano accompaniment.
Several composers through the ages have written fine concertos or other works for viola and orchestra (example, Bartok), but they are (for various reasons) quite uncommon compared to concertos featuring more “glamorous” instruments like piano or violin.
On this CD, we get to listen to some fine examples of viola music:
- Suite for Viola & Orchestra
- Märchenbilder (4), Op. 113, arr. Michael McLean
- Viola Sonata, Op. 147, arr. Vladimir Mendelssohn
Performed by Roger Myers (viola), with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Francis
While some composers have reworked their orchestral scores into piano versions, the reverse process – converting original piano parts into orchestral scores – is almost unheard of … until now.
In this CD, violist Roger Myers has created a “new formula” to expand the limited repertoire for viola and orchestra: well-known chamber masterpieces by Robert Schumann (Märchenbilder) and Dmitri Shostakovich (the Sonata for Viola and Piano: his final work) that have been skillfully transformed into impressive and colorful orchestral works.
Roger Myers is a well-known violist, and he shows on this CD performances that combine deep feeling, warm tone, and excellent virtuosity. He collaborates here with the legendary London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Michael Francis.
Here is one of the great viola players of today, performing the Bartók Viola Concerto: Her name is Tabea Zimmermann; with Semyon Bychkov conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker:
And next, here’s another viola giant: the viola sonata Op. 120 number 1, in F-Minor, as performed by Pianist Daniel Barenboim, and Violist Pinchas Zukerman
Of course there are other excellent violists such as Kim Kashkashian, Viktoria Hagen, Yuri Bashment, and more.
Let me close with more by Tabea Zimmermann, as she plays a selection that is recorded on this CD: we hear the Robert Schumann Märchenbilder Op. 113, with Tabea Zimmermann, viola, and Christian Ihle Hadland, piano:
Tags: Viola, Roger Myers, Tabea Zimmermann, Schumann, Shostakovich