Reger viola suites, op. 131d
Can someone please give me an idea how difficult these are for someone who is decent violist and can play, e.g., the Bach cello suites? Also, are they interesting musically? Thanks.
I'm not an expert on these suites, but they're about as difficult as the Bach Suites, maybe even a bit harder because some of them have lots of double stops and some of the passagework is quite hard. they're nice, musically, but we each have our own preferences so you should listen to recordings to find out for sure.
They are some of the most difficult repotoire the viola has for unaccompanied. To put in perspective Colburn on required auditions puts this in the same option categories as Hindemith solo sonatas, the Penderecki cadenza for solo viola or a Paganini caprice. This repotoire is not for anyone with really much technical weakness anywhere if the playing of these are your goal pieces, pull out the sevcik, the schradieck, the Simon fischer, and probably some fingered octaves and tenths.
The solo violin Reger pieces are more than merely "interesting" to me, though his viola works are better known (they do sound difficult, but why not try? No rules about it.) He should be performed more often.
They are quite challenging, with a lot of double stops. However, they are very beautiful. It's great music.
Yes, I heartily agree with those who say those suites are quite challenging. I just didn't know how they compare with other viola pieces in difficulty. He wrote 3 unaccompanied suites for cello as well.
The double stops in some of them are extremely hard. I remember playing one in college and never really getting it in tune. But they are lovely!
the Third Suite in E minor, live by Hiyoli Togawa:
Thanks for all the input!
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