Duos

November 1, 2022, 7:05 AM · Hi all,
Any suggestions for duos for violin and viola that are around the same difficulty as Michael Haydn no. 1 in C?

Thanks!

Replies (12)

November 1, 2022, 7:06 AM · Michael Haydn wrote four duos of roughly the same difficulty. Try the other three.
November 1, 2022, 7:25 AM · Mozart wrote a set of duets for Violin & Viola.
Edited: November 1, 2022, 4:39 PM ·

https://imslp.org/wiki/2_Duos_for_Violin_and_Viola%2C_K.423-424_(Mozart%2C_Wolfgang_Amadeus)

November 1, 2022, 8:53 AM · IIRC, the Mozart ones were a favor to help Michael fill out a set of six for publication.

Bach inventions are always useful. There may be Bartok duets that can be transcribed without committing too much damage.

Edited: November 1, 2022, 9:03 AM · Coming to a different era, I suggest Bartok's 42 violin duos. These are mostly based on Hungarian folk tunes and are listed broadly in ascending order of difficulty. The lower part is probably quite playable on the viola. I am familiar with several of them because my teacher introduced them to me during lessons, and sometimes we would finish a lesson sight-reading one of the earlier ones, my teacher usually taking the lower part. They're great fun to play.
November 1, 2022, 10:37 AM · There are probably other sets of duos that translate okay to the viola, such as the duets by Mazas. Just don't let people suggest Mozart Sinfonia Concertante. That's a really hard piece, especially for the violist.
November 1, 2022, 11:14 AM · The Michael Haydn duos are considerably easier than the two Mozart ones composed to round out Haydn's promise of six which Haydn could not fulfill for health reasons. I have seen the Bartok violin duos transcribed for two violas, but I have never seen them set out for one violin and one viola. I would have to compare the two versions to see if one person could play the original violin part and one could play the viola transcribed part and make it work. The Sinfonia Concertante, as Paul points out, is quite difficult. If you go to imslp.org and do a search for pieces for violin and viola, you will probably turn up some others. Good luck!
Edited: November 1, 2022, 11:50 AM · Joseph Haydn and Ludwig Spohr also wrote quality Violin/viola duos.
Not to mention Stamitz, Hoffmeister and Pleyel.
Try IMSLP!
Edited: November 1, 2022, 2:23 PM · Way back in the day I did some of the lower numbered* (first book) Bartok duos with violin and cello. They worked quite well, so I imagine they'd also work with viola. As they are so very short, it's a good idea to repeat each directly and use dynamics and a hearty rallentando to finish.

* Lower numbered rather than earlier - I understand that Bartok more or less wrote the 44 Duos in reverse to published order.

November 1, 2022, 2:52 PM · @Richard - I suppose someone might theoretically be able to play the duos on viola using the violin part. However, for those who want something for viola using alto clef, you need a transcription that is in the same key as the violin part. The only viola transcription I have ever seen, and which I have, has them in different keys from the original violin parts. It is possible that you can get a transcription with the viola parts in the same key as the violin parts. I have not tried to do so.
November 1, 2022, 3:26 PM · Good point Tom. I think in my case the cellist simply wrote his part out by hand and in the original key.
Edited: November 1, 2022, 4:39 PM · Paul, strange :-(
In my 80s I have found the viola part of Mozart's SC easier than the violin part ;-)
and I'm not that much of a violist (or violinist - any more, either).

But, either way - I do find it one of the most gloriously musical pieces I have ever heard or played. (Up there with the Bach and Brahms double concertos.)

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