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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.