It’s very rarely that you would have the chance of seeing and hearing a viola ensemble in concert. But on Sunday November 6th at 3 – 4pm at Whittakers Musical Museum there will be a group of viola players from the Australia and New Zealand Viola Society (ANZVS), Auckland branch, offering just that.
Ending an afternoon of enjoying playing together, exploring all kinds of classical and popular from the last 300 years, arranged especially for violas, some by the players themselves, including an 18th century Telemann viola concerto and dances from Hungary and Ukraine, the viola ensemble is opening the doors to visitors for a free performance of music they have worked on.
The viola has the middle voice range in the string family of violin, viola, cello and double bass, most related to the human voice range. Those who love playing and listening to the viola probably do so for its warm velvety tone that you can really sink into.
While there are solo viola pieces and viola concertos – one of the most loved being by the French composer Hector Berlioz who made the viola represent a traveler by the name of Harold, the concerto being called Harold in Italy – the viola takes its central place in ensembles like string quartets and quintets and in orchestral pieces.
The founder and current vice-president of the ANZVS, and past president of the International Viola Society, Dr. Michael Vidulich, also violist and manager of the Auckland String Quartet will host the afternoon. He has arranged much of the music, including an arrangement for 4 violas of NZ composer Douglas Lilburn’s Canzona 1 “Hamlet” (originally for string orchestra)…and with his permission, when he started the ANZVS and which has only been performed once in the 1980s.
Many other viola ensemble events have sprung up around the world with the formation of the International Viola Society and then the ANZVS..including viola cafés and one held on Waiheke back in 2014 at St Peter’s Church Waiheke.
There is no need to book for the Whittakers Musical Museum viola event, all will be warmly welcomed, with arrival at 2.50pm appreciated.