Everyone is familiar with his blockbuster hit, “The Planets Suite” which really put his name on the map and remains a huge hit to this day. But there was a lot more to him…
Throughout his early composing career he supplemented his earnings by teaching and playing trombone (the only other modern instrument that uses the also clef, BTW) in a military band. Military bands being very popular at the time, but having very little original repertoire, he addressed this by composing two fabulous suites. And like numerous other composers who re-used their own material, later recycled the finale of his second suite which became the last movement of his St. Paul’s Suite for strings, written later while he taught music at St. Paul’s Girl’s School, a position where he championed the cause of music education for women.
So our version for viola ensemble can be played equally as a quartet and for viola orchestra, hence there are some solos marked in places. How great is that? 13. mins. M