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Thread: Paganini Viola Concerto?

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    Site owner emeritus James's Avatar
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    Talking Paganini Viola Concerto?

    I heard somebody was playing this piece at my conservatoire. Was not aware there was one. Can somebody verify this?

    Has anybody heard this? Is it any good? Does this mean that paganini also sometimes played the Viola?
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    Lightbulb Paganini

    Quote Originally Posted by James
    I heard somebody was playing this piece at my conservatoire. Was not aware there was one. Can somebody verify this?

    Has anybody heard this? Is it any good? Does this mean that paganini also sometimes played the Viola?

    Short answer; yes yes no yes.
    Paganini both wrote for and played the viola. He also commisioned Berlioz to write for the viola, the result being "Harold in Italy". Paganini didn't like "Harold" however, and for that matter, neither do I
    Paganini wrote an unfinished concerto for a viola with five strings, and several other works for viola. Here is a sound sample of Paganini's viola sonata:

    http://www.sergeikalinin-viola.net/gbflash.htm

    I'm not a Paganini fan myself, but if you do like Paganini, you'll probably like it.
    godzilla

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    Site owner emeritus James's Avatar
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    As a violinist I MUST love paganini

    Godzilla, which viola concerto do you consider "ultimate". Walton?
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    Lightbulb viola concerto

    I'd say the ultimate has yet to be written. Violists really don't have an equivalent to the 'cellists few the violinists many great concertos. I'm not a fan of the Walton; I like that it helped popularised the viola, but I don't enjoy listening to it.
    The closest, in my view, violists have to a great concerto, is the Bartok. The second movement is absolutely brilliant. But the other movements aren't quite as good. Interestingly Bartok also died before completing his viola concerto ( the viola claims another victim! )
    As for having to like Paganini, well, I suppose it's better than having to like Hindemith ( a violist cliche ).
    godzilla

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Welcome on the board, Godzillaviolist!

    Amazing, how many composers were touched by the viola.

    Bach played viola, so did e.g. Dvorak (professional), Mendelssohn, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Hindemith, Paganini, Monteverdi, Haydn....

    Cheers,
    Daniel

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    You must try the Capriccios in Viola arrengement...

    And Bach Partitas of course!

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    Default Viola arrangements

    Thanks for the welcome.
    I'm thinking of making an arrangement for myself of a charming Romanian peice, Porumbescu's Balada ( for violin and piano originaly ).

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    Site owner emeritus James's Avatar
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    Question a question

    Quote Originally Posted by godzillaviolist
    I'd say the ultimate has yet to be written. Violists really don't have an equivalent to the 'cellists few the violinists many great concertos. I'm not a fan of the Walton; I like that it helped popularised the viola, but I don't enjoy listening to it.
    The closest, in my view, violists have to a great concerto, is the Bartok. The second movement is absolutely brilliant. But the other movements aren't quite as good. Interestingly Bartok also died before completing his viola concerto ( the viola claims another victim! )
    As for having to like Paganini, well, I suppose it's better than having to like Hindemith ( a violist cliche ).
    godzilla
    Godzilla, you have a wicked name,

    and you are a down to earth violist,

    world needs more violists like you

    Bartok died before completing his viola concerto?

    so how can you finish the damn concerto?
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    Lightbulb unfinished works

    There are tonnes of unfinished works played; the most famous is Mozart's requiem ( I heard a joke once about him being killed by the tuba mirum... ) Basicly what happens is that some unpopular composer goes and finishes the work. However, the Bartok is heated debate at the moment; three people have three different versions all claiming to be the most true to the composer's intentions. The most popular one has been shown to be slightly artificial; Primrose spiced it up so that he could show off his viola playing! The battle rages on as I write

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    Talking My name

    Oh, my names just a joke; I'm over two meters in height. Also I have very large hands. Thats one of the reasons I took up the viola; I have a physical advantage that makes the viola, for me, as easily playable as a violin. Actually I'd probably have problems playing violin as the intervals are much smaller and my big fingers would just get in the way
    godzilla ( I'm not green and scaly [ yet ] though )

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godzillaviolist
    There are tonnes of unfinished works played; the most famous is Mozart's requiem
    I got the chance to listen to a reconstruction of Beethoven's 10 th.

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    Default Lucky

    You are lucky to live in a such a cultured place!
    The symphony where I live is bit sad. Half the time it plays pops, the other half very light "pop" classic hits. Also its a bit weak. It's dimensions are as follows;

    2 flutes
    2 oboes
    1 clarinet
    1 bassoon
    3 trumpets
    4 horns
    3 trombones
    no tuba
    perscussion
    10 first violins
    8 second violins
    5 violas
    6 'cellos
    3 basses
    harp ( I know the harpist; noxious woman, if you are even ONE second late in leaving the practice room she makes a fuss )

    And with that, the ticket prices are still outrageous. I once calculated that I could afford ten CDs at the price one ticket for one performance...
    So no Beethoven's tenth here I'm afraid
    godzilla

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Oh, where do you live? If you are student, maybe special prices? But are you?

    Actually the Beethoven is a CD. I find it interesting with those reconstructions. The 10th sound very Weberian and Mendelssohnian, romantique orchestration, maybe because of the reconstructer. There were just sketches to rebuild the first movement. E-flat major. Intro is very long, and the typical Beethovan Ouverture-like entrance in his symphonies. Then c-minor Allegro. In the gestus VERY romantix, like Freischütz or the 1st symphonie by Mendelssohn, but with bigger instrumentation, very dramatic. The first movement ends with the slow Intro again. 20 min in total.

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    No discount for symphony, but I do get free opera tickets! They gave out free symphony tickets last year to the conservatory students. But I didn't want to go to a program of Shostakovich and Bernstein...
    Reconstructions can sound odd. I still think Mahler's tenth has been incorrectly realised. The last movement sounds bizzare and rather dissimilar from the rest of the symphony; he only wrote sketches for the last movement before he died. Of course we're talking about a composer who used a cowbell as a prominent instrument, so who knows...
    One of my dreams would be to fill out the full score for Boito's Nerone. He wrote the vocal parts and the short score, but died before he could orchestrate it. Toscanini did that, which makes the whole thing sound like Toscanini and not Boito. The inner bragart in me thinks I could do better
    godzilla

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    Senior Member Quaverion's Avatar
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    I didn't know about the viola composition, but I do know that he wrote 12 caprices for cello.
    It is our imperfections that make us who we are.

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