Viola concertos

January 22, 2018, 11:20 AM · What is the order that you follow or followed to learning them?
I´m currently working on the third movement of the J.C. Bach and I don´t really know if I should continue with the hoffmeister in d or the handel in b; what do you think?

Replies (11)

January 22, 2018, 11:23 AM · All I can tell you is that the first viola concerto I ever played was there Zelter.
January 22, 2018, 11:24 AM · you should play the Bruch viola romance. It's a great piece
January 22, 2018, 1:59 PM · What other repertoire are you working on? Depending on your own abilities, concertos at approximately the same level of difficulty can be learned in any order.
January 24, 2018, 1:05 PM · The Handel/Cassadeus would be a very minor step up in difficulty from the J.C. Bach. The Hoffmeister or Stamitz would be a bigger step up in technical level, but still probably doable. The Bruch Romance that Anthony mentioned is probably in between Handel and Hoffmeister from a purely technical perspective. If you have a teacher, I would go with whatever he/she recommends.
I personally did J.C. Bach 1st mvmt, Hoffmeister 1st mvmt.,the Vaughan William Suite Group 1 and then the entire Stamitz Concerto. As a teacher I would say it depends on how well a student is playing the piece as to what to progress to. If my student were playing the J.C. Bach at a high level, I would probably move on to Stamitz/Hoffmeister. If they were struggling a bit, I might have them learn the Handel to solidify the skills covered in the J.C. Bach before moving on.
January 24, 2018, 6:29 PM · Thank you very much. I was talking with my teacher and he said I should be learning the Hoffmeister, then the rolla in E flat or the stamitz in D. I don’t find hoffmeister a very difficult piece but definitely more than the J. C bach.
January 24, 2018, 7:08 PM · Learned at a students' recital I attended that there are TWO Stamitzes in D, of similar difficulty (The one I heard was not the one I had studied in my schooldays and performed the rondo of with our school junior orchestra. The one I had studied had quite a beautiful slow movement and a catchy rondo theme).
January 25, 2018, 9:47 AM · Andrew Victor, I am studying the Zelter concerto right now! How did you like it? Did you play the long-ish cadenza for the 1st mvt?
January 25, 2018, 10:17 AM · Karen, I like it. Isn't it fun? And, yeah, I played it all including the cadenzas.

I'm not really working on it; it is sort of a warm-up piece for me. I regularly play viola in a chamber orchestra - mostly classical music of mid 19th century and earlier, so the viola parts are mostly straight forward and uninteresting and don't need practice - so I try to keep in shape playing other things and this is a main one.

I was also playing monthly viola sonatas with a pianist and those were good too - but she went to Japan in November and I haven't heard from her since.

January 25, 2018, 2:51 PM · Here's how my teachers did it in order of increasing difficulty;

G.P. Telemann and/or Vivaldi A Minor Transcription

Handel/Casesesus and/or JC Bach

Hindemith Trauermusik

Stamitz and/or Hoffmeister

Bruch Romanze

Forsyth or Vaughan Williams ( maybe )

Bartok and/or Walton and/or Hindemith Der Schwanendreher

Weber Andante and Hungarian Rondo

Bowen and/or Paganini Sonata Per La Gran Viola and/or Penderecki and/or Schnitke

Anything else you want to learn that perhaps no one has heard of

January 27, 2018, 5:43 AM · I would start with Telemann. The transcription for viola of Bruch's Kol Nidre is a good place to go after Telemann. Sometime in the last couple of months someone gave a link to a viola repertoire list by levels of difficulty. If you search for and find that, it will tell you all you want to know.
January 29, 2018, 6:27 PM · There's also Harold, and Tertis's arrangement of the Elgar 'Cello Concerto (but viola performances were blown out of the water once the late Jacqueline got going).

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