Ricochet in viola repertoire?

June 16, 2020, 5:26 PM · Hello all,
May this message find you well. I mostly play viola and only dabble in violin, but realized today that I can only do ricochet in violin, and can’t on viola. It seems like the technique is all over virtuoso violin repertoire, but totally absent from viola repertoire. The only composition I could think of that is consistently performed with violas playing ricochet is the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony. So without further ado, let’s compile a list of solo, chamber music, orchestral music, and etudes performed on viola with ricochet!

Replies (9)

June 16, 2020, 8:00 PM · I haven’t encountered any but the concept is virtually the same with a bit heavier string for viola. Also, I would not call Tchaikovsky 6 a richochet as it is controlled to only 2.
June 16, 2020, 9:24 PM · There’s a bit in the Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia.
June 18, 2020, 11:32 AM · Scheherazade has a bit in the third movement.
June 18, 2020, 12:23 PM · You need a very fine viola and bow to do good ricochet. The violin is bit more forgiving. But...
Paganini wrote for viola.
June 18, 2020, 12:50 PM · Adam Silverman (http://www.adambsilverman.com/) is a young composer at West Chester University who has written a quite fine trio called "Ricochet" for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano. It's about 8 minutes long. Here's a link to spotify if you want to preview it.


June 18, 2020, 4:58 PM · Lawrence Power does a lot of very fast spiccato (and a couple of ricochet at the end) in Shostakovich: 5 Pieces from The Gadfly, No.5 Folk Festival — on a 2012 recording [Shostakovich: Music for Viola and Piano, with Simon Crawford-Phillips].
Edited: June 18, 2020, 5:41 PM · Sonata per la Grand Viola-Paganini, Variation III
Edited: June 18, 2020, 8:20 PM · Since my violin and my viola are hanging on wall hooks right behind where I am sitting now, I decided to try this. I found the difficulty was comparable -- also the contact point, ideal location along the bow, these were the same too. So, not sure what's up with your viola. One thing I've noticed from playing viola in orchestras is that violists sometimes make their bows really tight. Check your bow tension?
June 26, 2020, 5:15 PM · There's some ricochet for viola in the second movement of Prokofiev's String Quartet No.2. The cello also has it in the same passage.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Find an Online Music Camp
Find an Online Music Camp

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

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

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases



Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins


Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine