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Glinka & other romantic viola pieces


altistitar*
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I'm going to ask my teacher if I could start playing a romantic style piece... I need a change after playing Hummel, Bach and Weber for the whole autumn

If he accepts the idea, I'm maybe going to suggest Glinka's sonata in d minor. But I'd also like to have some other choices. Probably Schumann Adagio&Allegro or Bruch Romance... are there any other good romantic pieces of this level I might consider?

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Arpeggione first and second mvts. are not hard at all. All they take is a nice tone and a Viennese style (which a good teacher should be able to help you with). I learned it in about 7 weeks with a break during week 5 while at camp two summers ago, and I find so many opportunities to play it... the same, unfortunately, cannot be said about Shostakovitch

If you're unsure about Arpeggione, Bruch Romance is a great choice. If you want some easier twentieth century stuff, Hovhaness wrote some really pretty viola music. I'm playing "Chahagir" as the opening piece- my concert is a benefit to raise funds to record a Hovhaness four-hand piano concerto.

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I'm learning the Schumann "Marchenbilder" (spelling??) otherwise known as "Fairytales" at the moment and am really enjoying it. They're not too hard and they're quite cute. They are one of the few pieces, let alone lyrical romantic works, actually written for the viola in the first place, thought Schumann did produce an alternative violin version.

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Ahh, Märchenbilder sind wunderbar! I've played the first and third movements, and a bit of second and fourth. I played the third in my audition for the Sibelius Academy (where I study now ) in May... It was a lot of work, because that movement is so fast, but I never got bored of it because it's such a wonderful piece.

Someone mentioned Glazunov's Elegie... what's it like?

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The Glazunov is really pretty - it's sort of got a rocking, sicilienne feel to it. I love the Glinka too - it's not too hard and I find it really easy to play musically.

I kind of agree with a previous poster about the Clarke sonata. I've never played it, but there's just something about it that I don't like so much. I just recently heard Kashkashian play it live, but even that wasn't enough to win me over.

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I had a go at the Schumann Romances - i did nos 1 + 2 but gave up. I don't know why, they just didn't grab me. The edition I had was a KALMUS (*vomit*) and was quite horrible. They sound nice on violin, though.

I've never bothered investigating the Brahms op 120 sonatas - I don't think they've come up on the Syllabus, here in Australia, for my grade yet.

What are they like? I'm interested. (I know Bashmet recorded a version of one of them for viola and strings, but i've never heard them)

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I don't find the first two movements of the Arpeggione to be easy at all. Haven't heard them played well very often. There is also a Mendelssohn Sonata for viola and piano, it's mostly piano but it's very beautiful too. In addition to the Marchenbilder, the Schumann 4 fantasy pieces for cello have also been transcribed and work pretty well. The e minor cello sonata of Brahms has also been transcribed, it works ok but it's such a beautiful piece.

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I don't have any viola recordings of Arpeggione, but I've heard a really great LP of it with Walter Hautzig at the piano, and I can't remember the cellist, though I think the name is something like Paul Olefsky. I've sightread the Mendelssohn sonata, and found it to be really pretty, but I've got too much on my plate right now, so maybe later.

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as for brahms:

i hadn't heard of bashmet recording em with orchestra...odd sounding i'd imagine.

theyre not exactly easy, not technically as hard as a lot of things, but everything else is difficult to make just right. i played a movement of the Eb one...ITS SO INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL (i'm using it for auditions in the spring, i wonder if Kim'll be at the NEC audition, and if she'll recognize some of her lovely nuances i've adapted to my version...*ponders*)!!!! *sigh* Kashkashian's recording of them (both the Eb and F) are A-freakin-MAZING. i could listen to and play them forever. when playing em with a pianist its a great exercise in listening and not listening at the same time.

for glazunov, i LOVE yoko inoue's recording of it. its the one i own, and frankly the only one i like. even kashkashians pales in comparison, even though it is quite good in its own right.

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They didn't do it much for me either! (Schumann Romances)

I found Brahms hard but I'm not first study Viola. I can play the Violin ones in my sleep (CD done 1994) - could it be 'cause I can't actually read the clef!!!

(I played Viola with a world class ensemble - I couldn't read the notes even in the concert!!!)

They seem fairly typical Brahms to me, hard to get started with but once you're going - to die for .

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I don't think anyone has suggested the viola pieces by Ernst Bloch. There are a couple of them, as I recall: the Suite 1919 and another one whose name I forget.

I guess Block qualifies as a romantic composer (with a strong penchant for hebraic kitsch). His music bores me out of my skull, but a lot of people really like it.

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