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Arnold, Concerto for Viola and Piano (Faber)

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The viola is often thought of as a Cinderella instrument. Shy and retiring, it would not naturally have occurred to Arnold the extrovert as an obvious concerto vehicle. In his youth he wrote a beautiful Viola Sonata, and in 1971, to a commission from the Northern Sinfonia for a work for their principal viola, Roger Best, he wrote the fine Viola Concerto op 108. A first movement full of bustling semiquavers, and a brisk jig for the finale flank the heart of the work, an extended slow movement. This is a surprisingly forward-looking Andante, full of unexpected clashes and bitonal harmony, and patches where soloist and accompaniment are clearly at odds. Only at the end is real calm established, after the uneasy lyricism that has previously been the dominant mood.

AMEB Viola / Associate / List D

  • Allegro con spirito 1st movement from Concerto Op. 108
  • Allegro vivace 3rd movement from Concerto Op. 108
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