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Topic: Viola Concerto, slow movement

  1. #1

    Viola Concerto, slow movement

    Friends, here is the middle movement of a new concerto I'm putting together, this time for viola. This is a rather delicate piece, with some high work for the French Horns in places.


    The second item on the myspace list (Andante) was originally intended to be part of the same concerto but I struggled to get a solo viola part to work with it. It has been redeveloped since I posted a draft here a while back and will probably remain a standalone piece.

    I would be very grateful for any thoughts please, regarding composition or handling of GPO, for either the middle or the abandoned movement. Thanks.

    Regards, Graham

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: Viola Concerto, slow movement

    Hi Graham. I listened to the second movement of your viola concerto (I’ll try to make it back later for the Andante). As you say, very delicate, yet it is also very full of open spaces, as is most of your music – a very spacious sound. Somehow big yet intimate. I really don’t have any other comments beyond the fact that I really enjoyed this. Are you working on the first and third movements?
    Trent P. McDonald

  3. #3

    Re: Viola Concerto, slow movement

    Hi Graham,

    Gorgeous writing and interplay between the soloist and orchestra. I enjoyed the theme and its development. The close harmonies in the woodwids are my favorite. Dynamic constrasts are great too.

    The only thing I didn't like was the last few bars. I think there should be a serious diminuendo on the last note and it should be a little longer.

    But what a wonderful work, and with a real violist it would sound so beautiful!


  4. #4

    Re: Viola Concerto, slow movement


    This is a beautiful piece. A gem even. Slow, melodic and comtemplative.

    The only draw back I see to the piece is, as a concerto, it seems to lack any need of skill. Even in a slower movement, most concertos seem to demand more usage of the soloist and more of a attack on the instrument.

    Please do not think I believe that this distracts from the granduer of the piece, for it does not.

    For a slow piece, this is wonderful. IMHO, a concerto should make the guy work for his money.

    Well done


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Penfield (Rochester), NY

    Re: Viola Concerto, slow movement


    This is really lovely writing. The viola fits well with the orchestra although i would like to hear it a bit louder over the orchestra. At times it felt a little to distant. But the whole work is really moving and pleasing to listen to. thanks for sharing it with the forum.



  6. #6

    Re: Viola Concerto, slow movement

    Trent: Thanks for tuning in my friend. The spaciousness probably results from my love of the Anglican choral tradition - and listening to choirs and organ music in vast, ancient cathedrals. Infact, I intentionally tried to model this piece on early English polyphony - so this might just have paid off! I am sketching out the rest of the concerto so it will be a while yet before completion.

    Reegs: Thanks for your kind comments - and observations about the woodwind. I've been working on this part of the orchestra, having struggled in the past to make best use of them. Even now, I tend to let them sit back a bit - but I'm gradually fixing that. Yep, the ending could benefit from further attention - I'll fix that.

    Ron: Thanks for the applause and your valued comments which I greatly appreciate. At the back of my mind is a desire to create something that might appeal to a youth orchestra, something Joe Cavanagh suggested to me a while back when I posted a piano concerto. But, there is scope in this movement to develop the solo part further - and certainly an opportunity to address this as I work on the other movements. I'll keep this in mind.

    Gary: Thanks for your encouragement and useful observations about the balance. I'll work on bringing the viola more forward in places.

    Regards, Graham

  7. #7
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: Viola Concerto, slow movement


    What is so striking about this piece is how consistent in style it is with regards your other works. I think one could tell it was yours by the fist few bars - that is quite an achievement. You have a voice, a style, and it is individual and unique. This piece has all your hallmarks - the modal inflections, the choral influences, the contrapuntal interplay. Obviously other have this, as well, but you have managed to make it your own.

    I can well imagine a violist wanting to play this - it seems well suited to the instruments timbre, range, and expressive. You wrote for the viola, and not for a lower-ranged version of the violin. It really works well!

    Hope you can find violists to take this up when all the movements are completed.

    All the best,
    Ron Pearl





  8. #8

    Re: Viola Concerto, slow movement

    Clearly Keitch, with its broad contemplative tenor and
    majestic thoughtful spaces. Another very beautiful work,
    my friend, that resonates surely with the deepest
    reaches of a thoughtful, reflective heart.

    Graham, I think it was Ron above who mentioned the
    matter of virtuosity generally associated with concertos.
    And, true, most concertos are technical showpieces.
    Yet, here we have a different manner of craft demanded
    of the player: in this, the viola must bring forth the
    deep emotional context of this writing... oftentimes far
    more difficult that mere pyrotechnics.

    Beautifully done, Graham.

    Still again.

    All my best,


  9. #9

    Re: Viola Concerto, slow movement

    Absolutely beautiful writing, Graham!

    You definitely have a great gift for evocative string work. A wonderful portrait painted with such a unique (and distinct!) style.

    ...some of the best I've heard on this forum.



  10. #10
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Dallas, TX

    Thumbs up Re: Viola Concerto, slow movement

    Great work Graham! If i were a violist, which i would like to be, i would certainly enjoy performing this. I agree that it is gem.


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