Fantasy and Farewell: Music for Viola and Orchestra

Roger Myers, Viola; London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Francis, conductor

A “New Formula” for Viola and Orchestra

Throughout its history, the viola has served primarily as an ensemble instrument, with its solo applications largely restricted to recital music like solo sonatas or other works with piano. Mainstream composers through the ages have indeed written fine concertos or other works for viola and orchestra, but they are (for various reasons) quite uncommon compared to concertos featuring more “glamorous” instruments like piano or violin. While some of their creators have also reworked their creations into piano versions, the reverse process – converting original piano parts into orchestral scores – is almost unheard of … until now.

In this – violist Roger Myers’ first album on Delos – our artist offers the remarkable fruits of a “new formula” to expand the limited repertoire for viola and orchestra: well-known chamber masterpieces by Robert Schumann (Märchenbilder) and Dmitri Shostakovich (the Sonata for Viola and Piano: his final work) that have been skillfully transformed into impressive and colorful orchestral works. Myers commissioned the third work (Suite for Viola and Orchestra) from composer Michael McLean (who also orchestrated the Schumann) in memory of his mother. The Schumann and the McLean are presented here in world premiere recordings. Myers, a violist of international renown, offers exceptional performances that combine deep feeling, glowing tone and stunning virtuosity. He collaborates here with the legendary London Symphony Orchestra under the sensitive baton of Michael Francis.

  • Three impressive and colorful additions to the limited repertoire for viola and orchestra
  • Two world premiere recordings
  • Lush and accomplished performances from an internationally prominent violist with one of the world’s great orchestras

Track Listing

    Michael McLean: Suite for Viola & Orchestra

  1. I. Prelude
  2. II. Passacaglia
  3. III. Chorale
  4. Schumann: Märchenbilder, Op. 113

  5. I. Nicht Schnell
  6. II. Lebhaft

  7. III. Rasch
  8. IV. Langsam, mit melancholischem Ausdruck
  9. Shostakovich: Viola Sonata, Op. 147
    arr. Vladimir Mendelssohn

  10. I. Moderato
  11. II. Allegretto
  12. III. Adagio