Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra

Behzad Ranjbaran

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Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

The Concerto is an exploration of the relationship between two people (the soloists) with the society they live in (the orchestra). It is a complex relationship that often evokes feelings from profound affection to envy and rivalry as well as joy, seduction, humor, and gallantry. At times the soloists reveal the uncorrupted innocence in each and every one of us, contrasting with the harsher reality of the orchestra.

I was interested in the idea of a double concerto, because I play both violin and viola. To me, it's a very engaging combination, yet there's only one major work for violin and viola in the standard repertoire [Mozart?s Sinfonia concertante K.364]. I wanted to explore the uniqueness of each instrument beyond the obvious difference in timbre. Although the solo parts complement each other, there is also a friendly competition between the two. At times, violin and viola serenade one another with great tenderness; at other times, they tease each other mischievously.

I have treated both instruments equally, trying to emphasize their respective strengths and individuality. Violin has an advantage: its tone is more incisive and it can play much higher, but viola has a special color and poignant voice that comes through, particularly in the second movement. It ends with a viola solo. No other string instrument could capture that quality.

The opening material is lyrical, juxtaposed with faster, more agile music that accelerates, creating an inherent conflict with the slower sections. A first movement cadenza features a concertante role for harp, accompanying the two soloists. The second movement is more intimate in character, with orchestral forces reduced to muted strings. For the finale, I sought a movement that would be uplifting, providing a positive conclusion to the concerto.

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Scores & Parts

Concerto for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra - Solo Part with Piano Reduction

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the ASCAP Foundation and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta, conductor (world premiere October 22nd, 2009), and co-commissioned by the East Texas Symphony Orchestra.
Composition Date 2009
Duration 26:00
Orchestration Vln., Vla. Soli; 2(2nd dbl. Picc.) 2 2 2 - 4 2 1 1; Timp. 2Perc. Hp. Str.
Premiere 22nd, 24th October, 2009. Vahn Armstrong, Violin, Beverly Kane Baker, Viola; Virginia Symphony, conducted by JoAnn Falletta, St. Bede, Williamsburg, VA.

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