Viola Concertos
Quantity in Basket: None HINDEMITH & BARTOK Viola Concertos TROY076 - Price: $16.99
Go Back >


Classic performances of viola standards.

The fact that the word violino means "little viola" might suggest that the alto of the string family was in fact the primary instrument from which the others developed. Not so; the viola inherited the name of its illustrious predecessor, the viol, but not is prominence. The modern viola has been slow to make its way. Eighteenth century composers mostly ignored it or left it to double the violins or cellos; even Beethoven never trusted his orchestral violas with an independent solo part. Even the double bass could boast of several famous virtuosi, but the only important solo viola part before the end of the 19th century was written by Berlioz for Paganini! The notion that the viola is a failed violin dies hard, and outside of chamber music, it is only in relatively recent times that the viola has finally become established as an instrument with its own manner of expression and its own repertoire. The liberation of the viola has been in part accomplished through the pioneering efforts of outstanding performers like the Britishers Lionel Tertis and William Primrose who literally called forth - commissioned or inspired - a whole repertoire. The Bartok Concerto on this recording was one of these commissions for William Primrose but the Hindemith Viola Concerto came about because Hindemith himself was an important performer on the viola. Raphael Hillyer was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Koussevitsky and the NBC Orchestra under Toscanini. He was a founding member of the Juilliard String Quartet and been a soloist with orchestras in the United States and abroad.
Bela Bartok, composer
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
Raphael Hillyer, viola, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Akeo Watanabe, conductor

Paul Hindemith, composer
Der Schwanendreher for Viola and Orchestra
Raphael Hillyer, viola, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Akeo Watanabe, conductor

"...The Bartok Viola concerto was the composer's last work. Indeed, he left it unfinished, and it was completed and orchestrated by his associate Tibor Serly, whose contribution is almost as substantial as Bartok's. It is in any event a work of major import, one of Bartok's best. Hillyer plays with vigor and obvious commitment, somewhat in the style of the Hindemith. The soloist, though splendidly accompanied, is still grandly up-front....I find myself listening to this recording not only as a reviewing task, but because it gives great pleasure - so how could I fail to recommend it.?" (American Record Guide)
You may also like:
More Info
iTunes BACH, BARTOK, HINDEMITH Raphael Hillyer, Viola