Brahms – Viola Quartet in A Minor



Here’s something to really get your teeth into: an entire perfectly balanced 4-movement work for viola quartet, being an adaptation of his trio for clarinet, cello, and piano.

If you’ve played any of Brahms’ works you’ll know he had a special feeling for the viola. There are notable times when he treats our instrument differently and apart from the other stringed instruments. There is a string quartet movement where the viola dominates while accompanied by the muted ensemble, and his German Requiem where the violas lead the opening bars, and, not least, his Viola Sonatas that he adapted from his earlier clarinet works.

Indeed, the viola and clarinet seem to share much of the same d.n.a., musically speaking. And Brahms was one of the few to really embrace that.

It is generally quite comfortable to play, but I should also say that from the musical perspective it is a long and complex work to study. All the parts have lots of melodic interest but the 1st part does venture slightly higher overall. 25 mins. M/A



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