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Digital Subscriptions > The Strad > November 2019 > STAMITZ FIRST VIOLA CONCERTO


Nils Mönkemeyer looks at how to tackle the challenges in the first movement of this important audition piece with style, panache and calm


Teaching & Playing

From Stamitz Viola Concerto no.1 in D major. Urtext edition, piano reduction, paperbound with marked and unmarked string parts. Editors Annemarie Weibezahn, Norbert Gertsch; pf reduction Johannes Umbreit, va fingering Jürgen Weber, cadenzas Robert Levin. Order no. HN 758, ISMN 979-0-2018-0758-4, €16.50. Printed with permission of G. Henle Verlag, Munich © 2003

I don’t have fond memories of this concerto from my time as a student: it was stressful, particularly because being able to play it well at auditions could make the difference between getting a job or not. I remember very clearly the first time I performed it, without any worries, at a class concert when I was 18 years old. Afterwards, the other students came up to me and said, ‘Oh my goodness, you managed the octaves – well done!’ When I came to play it in my first ever competition, I had to wait backstage beforehand and listen to a couple of people who were ahead of me. They both messed up that passage, so I was extremely freaked out about it myself by the time I was on stage.

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About The Strad

Sarah Chang discusses her passion projects and we explore the lives of Chicago's early bow makers. Joseph Curtin examines bridges, there's a look at Brazil's classical music and Alisa Weilerstein reveals her Sentimental Work. Plus David Kim on sautillй.