Good viola music?

May 13, 2012 at 02:37 AM · Now I know this has been brought up before, but I have a specific music question. Right now I am polishing up the 3rd Reger viola suite. I do like it (It feels like it was actually meant for viola). I'm looking for something else to work on for myself, and possible auditions.

My favorite violin pieces to play/audition with are Lalo Symphony Espagnole, and Saint-Seans Intro & Rondo Capriccioso. I'm looking for viola music that is in that same category as those two pieces, but have yet to find anything that I really like. I can only seem to find music around the baroque era, or contemporary. Any suggestions?

Replies (25)

May 13, 2012 at 03:20 AM · Quite overdone, but one of my favorite viola pieces is perhaps Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata...

May 13, 2012 at 03:01 PM · Rebecca Clarke sonata?

May 13, 2012 at 03:01 PM · double post...sorry

May 13, 2012 at 03:02 PM ·

May 13, 2012 at 03:13 PM · There are tons.... Bloch Suite Hebraique, the Vieuxtemps, Bach Cello Suites of course (many times these are required for auditions), Clarke, Schubert, Hoffmeister, Brahms Op. 120, Hummel Fantasy.

May 13, 2012 at 05:39 PM · Add Reinecke, Weber, Berlioz, Schumann, Bruch, Rolla, Bridge, Vaughan-Williams, Holst, Britten, Benjamin....

May 13, 2012 at 06:24 PM · Ahhh that is a lot of composers. Any specific songs? I have looked through those composers on IMSLP but I don't know what is specifically a good advanced viola piece.

May 13, 2012 at 07:49 PM · Cecil Forsyth viola concerto in G minor is on IMSLP. It's fantastic!!! Written in the early 1900s, it's the the style of big romantic violin concertos. Lawrence Power has a fantastic recording of it.

May 13, 2012 at 11:12 PM · Stamitz, Hoffmeister, Telemann Fantasias.

May 13, 2012 at 11:39 PM · Hummel Fantasy

May 14, 2012 at 02:29 AM · Alan Hovhaness "Chahagir"

May 14, 2012 at 10:56 AM · Korngold wrote a viola concerto, has anyone come across it?

May 14, 2012 at 10:57 AM · Oops!

May 16, 2012 at 12:02 AM · I have decided on the Forsyth viola concerto... now that is fun

May 16, 2012 at 03:59 AM · Good pick :)! If you get the Power recording it also has the York Bowen viola concerto in C minor. It's not on IMSLP so you would have to buy it, and it is more a challenging work overall.

May 16, 2012 at 07:27 PM · I have not played those other ones? Walton? I cannot find the Bloch online (always looking at IMSLP first) I switched from Violin while win college, and have not grown up with the repertoire. What have I been missing!? any links to that other sheet music. I bought the CD with Forsyth, but have not seen the Bowen sheet music yet.

May 16, 2012 at 09:09 PM · just to put some stuff out there that hasn't been mentioned:

the Hindemith op. 11 no. 4 is hot, Bloch 1919, Schumann marchenbilder, Glinka, Frank Bridge two pieces, bartok is cool, but not exactly like what you were talking about wanting.

May 16, 2012 at 09:12 PM · whoops, someone mentioned the schumann.

i shall replace that suggestion with the hindemith op. 25 no. 1

May 16, 2012 at 09:57 PM · Here is a list of specifically viola recordings that I came across recently, perhaps it may come in useful:

May 16, 2012 at 11:13 PM · I will second the Walton as well. I didn't mention it because you asked for pieces like the Lalo and Saint Saens. The Bowen and Forsyth are more along those Romantic lines while Walton definitely 20th century in style. A lot of the others that have been mentioned aren't concertos either, which I assumed you were looking for? Ralph Vaughan Williams also has a really cool Suite for Viola and Small Orchestra too. You should be able to find music for any of the pieces mentioned by everyone here at or There is so much cool viola music out there! Have fun discovering it!

May 17, 2012 at 12:49 AM · I did a funny performance one time...did the Glazunov Concerto (originally for alto sax) on the viola. :)

May 18, 2012 at 01:04 PM · Seeing it's the current viola repertoire topic, I'll just mention that I've put a movement of my Concerto on youtube with the soloists part following along:

May 18, 2012 at 01:08 PM · Glazunov Elegie, you might enjoy Glinka viola sonata, Brahms viola sonatas, Lekeu piano quartet, Bruch trios for clarinet, piano and viola,...

May 18, 2012 at 02:33 PM · I didn't know Glinka wrote something for viola!

May 18, 2012 at 02:39 PM · I've just come accross a beautiful piece by

Schumann - the Fairy Tales for viola and piano:

At least the first movement is lovely, yet to listen to the others.

(its on IMSLP too)

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

2023 Authenticate LA: Los Angeles Violin Shop
2023 Authenticate LA Shopping Guide Shopping Guide


Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine