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Yfirsést: Concerto for viola and orchestra


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Hi all! I'm new here, and I really wish I'd discovered this community much sooner!

I love classical music but, as a violist, my largest complaint has been the lack of stirring, cinematic viola concerti. Well, what's a composer to do?

So here's my stab at a full-length viola concerto. I've named it Yfirsést (pronounced ih-ver-syest), the Icelandic word for "overlooked," and an all-too common feeling among violists. This is the first movement, and it resounds with the struggle of overcoming mediocrity and being seen for what you are. (I couldn't tell you what composer it sounds like, because to me, it sounds like me. 🙂)

I appreciate your feedback, and especially taking the time to listen! I'll upload the second and third movements (along with the scores for all 3) later.

Edited by Tónskáld
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@SilverWolf Thanks for the feedback!

Here is the second movement, entitled 'Andante religioso.' It's mournful and redemptive, with hymn-like themes and swelling anthems. At times tender, at times dissonant, it continues the struggle to not be "overlooked." 

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And finally, the finale. This movement has more drama, dissonance and complexity than the previous two movements. It's like an epic struggle between the viola and the orchestra, ending with a stirring... well, you'll just have to listen for yourself. 😉I hope you enjoy it, and I'm again appreciative of any feedback!

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First movement.

There's very little to be said. It's a seriously accomplished piece, a lyrical viola part that doesn't fight too hard with the orchestra possibly because the orchestra is fairly subdued much of the time. You have a knack with thematic development, all 15 1/2 minutes of it. Quiet and subtle, occasionally an interplay of melodic lines. The orchestration is brilliant as is the rendering. It might almost be live. 

A difficult cadenza at the end and a great build up to the closing measures. .

Very well done. A pleasant listen. If this isn't a live performance I hope it becomes one soon. 

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Here is the full score. Happy reading!

Edit: The score I originally uploaded disappeared, so I'm trying again.

Edited by Tónskáld
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I'll eventually get this posting thing down. 😉Here are all 3 movements in an easy-to-watch YouTube video compiled by yours truly. I hope the low-quality photos don't mesmerize you too much; took them myself with an iPhone. They look great all blown up and pixellated.

Anyway, happy watching!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYW8K6N4FEE

 

Edited by Tónskáld
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  • 3 weeks later...

Saw someone else embed their SoundCloud file, and it sounded (lol) like a good idea... get song listens and feedback at the same time!

Please note: this is not a live recording; even though the instruments may sound real, they're not.

I realize this is a rather long piece, but any feedback is helpful. My thoughts for each movement are as follows:

The first movement is meant to be stark and rather ambient, with the calls and responses from the different instruments representing the echoes of a vast, bleak landscape. You'll notice the viola rarely fights with the orchestra—this is intended to portray a single voice playing alone in the vastness.

The second movement is quite melancholic, full of yearning for things that will never be. It's like the neverending cycle of winter and spring; you'll notice some "warm" passages against the "cold." There are large swaths of the music where the solo viola doesn't play—this was on purpose, as I'm giving the violist as much rest as I can before the ferocious finale.

The finale has a much freer tempo than the previous two movements, and you may also notice the viola struggles fiercely with the orchestra here. This movement is fast and furious, with lots of spiccato digs and triple stops. The music ebbs and flows a little until the buildup to the end where the surprising switch to a major key brings the orchestra to its loudest moments in the entire work. Then there's an even faster coda that rounds out the piece with crashing cymbals, blasting brass, soaring strings, and whistling woodwinds. The final four notes hearken back to the opening notes of the movement.

Thanks in advance for your helpful input! (I attached the score to this post, too, for ease of reference... it was originally buried in one of the earlier posts in this thread.) Even if you don't feel like you have anything "musical" to say about it, I always love hearing how the piece made you feel!

Yfirsést - Full Score.pdf

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