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First page of the viola solo part, in the manuscript parts set of Hoffmeister's viola concerto in D

A viola concerto is a concerto contrasting a viola with another body of musical instruments such as an orchestra or chamber music ensemble. Early examples of viola concertos include Telemann's concerto in G major and several concertos by Carl Stamitz and other members of his family. The first concertante work to use the viola without caution was Mozart's violin and viola Sinfonia Concertante.

The viola, unlike the violin and even the cello back in the Baroque era, suffers from problems of projection against an orchestral ensemble and so has not enjoyed wide popularity as a solo instrument. According to some musicologists, including Alfred Einstein,[citation needed] the essence of the concerto is not the display of virtuosity, but in conflict and resolution, and the viola is less suited than the piano, or even the violin, to balance itself against any orchestra that is not deliberately underused by the composer. Viola players were often originally violinists and so until recently there were few viola soloists. William Walton, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Paul Hindemith were among the first composers to write solo viola works for new, more capable players; the Walton concerto is a particularly celebrated cornerstone of the viola repertoire. These players in turn arranged works originally composed for other instruments, an example being Lionel Tertis's arrangement of Edward Elgar's cello concerto.


Selected list of concertos and concertante worksEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Potter, Tully (2010). "Real or Fake? Famous Musical Hoaxes: The Great Baroque Swindle" (PDF). The Strad. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 6, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  2. ^ Fleshler, David (March 11, 2015). "Diaz and Spano bring Higdon's new Viola Concerto to Miami". The Classical Review. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  3. ^ Muhly, Nico. "Viola Concerto (2015)". Music Sales Group. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  4. ^ Fisher, David. "Frank Stiles: 90th Birthday Celebration!". Retrieved 19 March 2016.

External linksEdit