Concerto for Viola and Orchestra

Michael Boyman

Performing Ensemble: Orchestra
Duration: 30:00
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

I wrote this piece with a darker sonority and an emphasis on lyricism, qualities that I associate with the viola. In the first movement, titled "Fantasia," the viola begins with a quiet and free cadenza, becoming more passionate until the woodwinds join in dialogue with the soloist. Gradually the rest of the orchestra enters, exploring ideas from the solo cadenza while introducing a new theme that reappears in the last movement.

The second movement is a scherzo, mischievous in mood, with the orchestra and viola trading barbed jokes. The antics are interrupted by a brass chorale with embellishment from the viola. The scherzo then resumes with prominent contributions from the bassoons.

The last movement, titled “Nocturne,” plays with different kinds of music associated with the night. A sensual and romantic atmosphere gives way to something more menacing and ultimately violent. After a climax from the full orchestra, soft strings and solo viola lead us into the coda, taking an ambiguous idea from the first movement and transforming it into a lyrical and heartfelt prayer. The concerto ends with the solo viola ascending on the crest of an orchestral wave of sound.

--Michael Boyman

Additional Information

Composition Date 2017
Orchestration Solo Vla.; 2(2nd dbl. Picc.) 2(2nd dbl. E.H.) 2(2nd dbl. B.Cl.) 2 - 4 2 3 1; Timp. 2Perc. Pno. Str.
Premiere Premiered by Miguel Campos-Neto conducting the Chelsea Symphony with Sarah Haines as soloist on April 2nd, 2017.


I. Fantasia
II. Scherzo & Chorale
III. Nocturne

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