Concerto for viola and orchestra (viola with chamber orchestra)
by Charles Bodman Rae (2007)
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My Viola Concerto was composed in the Australian summer of 2007 (January to March). It is scored for an orchestra of double woodwind (without bassoons), two horns, harp and strings. It has a 32-minute time span and is in three movements that follow each other without any breaks: introductory, slow, and main. The placing of the main movement last is a conscious reversal of the classical concerto scheme. The cadenzas, however, come towards the ends of the first and second movements. The first movement has an element of the concerto grosso: an orchestral ritornello that separates soloistic episodes. In these episodes we encounter contrasting ideas that reappear in the later movements. The second movement is an adagio, mostly in a quintuple metre. The final movement opens with a cantando theme led by the soloist. The ensuing Allegro is a passacaglia that repeats a nineteen-bar rhythmic cycle. Against these phrases there are contrasting variations (from the playful to the lamenting) that connect with the earlier movements. The passacaglia leads to the final appearance of the cantando theme. A short, fast coda ends the concerto. The work is affected at many levels, and in all three movements, by the interaction of minor thirds and perfect fifths. In this and other respects the concerto is closely related to my second string quartet. In this concerto I have deliberately explored the upper and top registers of the viola, as well as the wonderfully rich voice of its lowest string.
Instrumentation: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns, harp, solo viola, strings.
Duration: 32 min.
Contents note: I Allegro (10 min.) -- II Andante (11 min., 30 sec.) -- III Andante – Allegro (10 min., 30 sec.).
Dedication note: Dedicated to Juerg Daehler
- In the form/style of: Concertos
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