Saturday, March 14, 2009

How to get a composer to write for viola

You take one composer, marry him and get him to produce a viola-playing off-spring. As is the case with the composer Juozas Juozapaitis and his son Jurgis. I first heard Jurgis a few years ago, attempting the Paganini Sonata per la gran viola.  It was a bit ambitious, bit of a struggle.

So I was surprised when only a short while later he ended up in the last seat of the Lithuanian chamber orchestra.

But I have now revised my opinion. Last night I heard him and an (unfortunately names not noted) clarinet player and a pianist at the music academy, playing Mozart, a piece by Dad, Francaix and Bruch. It was pretty damn good, for all of them - the clarinet player played very nicely too.  (We have a great viola and clarinet teachers in Lithuania).

Having heard the Mozart only from the outside (I had gone to the wrong building, and nearly was trapped in some concert by some singers, ye gads), I entered in time for the Juozapaitis (senior), who had written a very nice piece, too. In three movements, with a kind of a conversation between the viola and the clarinet; very listenable-to. It's worth putting this in the repertoire.

The Francaix was beautifully played, too - it's a rather over-long piece, but very nice, as is the Bruch. Overall the concert was rather long (and young Jurgis has another one on Monday!), but really, it was all very musically performed, with beautiful intonation and lovely expression. The boy will go far!


Olga said...

"How to get a composer to write for viola?"

To ask a composer :-)

For example, now I have a new short piece, and it's for viola solo.