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Just thought I'd introduce my favorite violist, in a must-hear performance of the first movement of the Clarke viola sonata.
The piece he's playing is also one of my favorites, and it's not too hard to tell why. The first movement, especially, is something you rarely ever hear two violists play the same way because it leaves so much room for interpretation.
Beta Barto composed a Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, which was unfortunately not completed before his death in 1945. Yo-yo Ma recorded it with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra using a viola with a floor peg, designed (and I believe built) by Carleen Hutchins. Ma was roundly ridiculed by the classical music community for using this instrument, and he never used it again. The recording (with the Stephen Albert Concerto for Cello and Orchestra and the Ernest Block Hebraic Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra) is called "The New York Album" and was rewarded a Grammy. The CD inner cover has a photograph partially showing the viola (peg out of picture) with Yo-Yo Ma. I could not find the recording on Amazon but had no problem purchasing one on eBay.
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