Concerto for viola and orchestra, 1975-1978.

Concerto for viola and orchestra

Concerto for viola and orchestra, 1. mov. Stefan Kamasa - viola, National Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrzej Markowski - conductor, 1979.

Concerto for Viola and Orchestra

Composed with Stefan Kamasa’s performing skills in mind, Concerto for violais, according to the composer himself, "[…] inspired by technical and expressive possibilities of this instrument. This produced a concerto in which the soloist plays the main role in the proper placement of stress and centre of gravity, and in shaping the tension throughout the work."

Emphasising the solo part means at the same time highlighting beautiful melody, an element rarely heard in the 20th century music, Viola Concerto is a single-movement work, but we can distinguish here three segments typical for this form: Allegro, Lento and Allegro. There are no themes in the traditional sense of the word; the melody is based on the chromatic scale, though the serial technique is not used. The concerto begins with a solo cadenza for viola. The initial phrase will return shortly before the end of the concerto, holding together the whole work. The soloist’s cadenza, specified by the composer as an interlude, separates the first Allegro from the slow part.

Premiered on 16 September 1979 at the Warsaw Autumn Festival, the Viola Concerto was very well received by the critics and acknowledged as one of the greatest works by a Polish composer presented at the Warsaw Autumn.