Baroque Music for Viola

A collection of pieces from the Baroque Era for Viola with piano accompaniment. Easy to Advanced Level

1.   Bach  -  Air on the G string

Originally part of the orchestral suite No 3 and written for Prince Leopold, Bach's employer in the little principality of Anhalt-Cothen between 1717 and 1723, the 'Air on the G string' arrived in its current popular form over 100 year later, when German violinist August Wilhelm arranged the piece for violin and piano to be played on the evocative G-string of the violin. The theme was made famous in the UK through its use in Hamlet cigar advertising. In film and television it has been used to produce an atmosphere of serenity, perhaps most famously in the library scene of the 1995 police thriller "Se7en."

Bach, Johann Sebastian

Air on the G string

2.   Albinoni  -  Adagio

Perhaps the most well-known piece by a lesser-known composer, Albinoni's melancholic adagio has featured countless times in film and TV, including in Manchester by the Sea, Orson Welles's The Trial, Flashdance and even The Inbetweeners 2. Ironically, it may not have been written by the composer, some claiming it to be a hoax by Italian musicologist Remo Giazotto, who catalogued the composer's works.

Albinoni, Tomaso


3.   Vivaldi  -  Spring from The Four Seasons

One of the most famous and well-loved of all baroque works, the four seasons are the first of 12 concerti that make up "Il Cemento Dell'armonia e dell'inventione" ("The Contest of Harmony and Invention"). They were originally written for solo violin and orchestra. The opening movement of the first of the concerto suggests all the joy and expectation of its title, "Spring."

Vivaldi, Antonio

Spring from The Four Seasons

4.   Pachelbel  -  Canon in D

Pachelbel's most famous work, originally for three violins and basso continuo, but since arranged for a wide variety of instruments. It has a hypnotic quality derived from its repeating chordal pattern and the inevitability with which it gathers rhythmic momentum. It often played weddings, providing an atmospheric accompaniment for the arrival of the bridal party.

Pachelbel, Johann

Canon in D

5.   Purcell  -  Rondeau from Abdelazer

Henry Purcell's Rondeau is the second movement of a suite of ten written as incidental music for a revival of Aphra Behn's play "Abdelazer" in 1695. It is the best remembered part of the suite, both in its original form and in adaptations—composer Benjamin Britten used it in his "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" (1946), it can be hard in the television series "The First Churchills" (1969) and "Pride and Prejudice" (2005) and was even used, in an arrangement by Andrew Lloyd Webber, as the election music for the British Conservative Party in the 1992 general election.

Purcell, Henry

Rondeau from Abdelazer

6.   Rameau  -  Danse des Sauvages from Les Indes Galantes

The opera "Les Indes Galantes" was something of breakthrough work for composer Jean-Phillipe Rameau, remarkable given that he was already in his forties when he wrote it. Despite the lukewarm reception of its first performance in 1735, it went on to achieve great success in its revised versions and led to a sequence of other dramatic works from the composer. The best-known part of the work is this atavistic dance, which occurs in the final part of the work "Les Sauvages" ("The Savages").

Rameau, Jean-Philippe

Danse des Sauvages from Les Indes Galantes

7.   Scarlatti  -  Siciliano


8.   Bach  -  Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring

Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring

9.   Handel  -  Theme from Water Music

This exhilarating work, also titled "Alla Hornpipe," is taken from the second suite of Handel's celebrated "Water Music." "Water Music" premiered on 17 July 1717 after King George I had requested a concert on the River Thames. The king was so pleased with it that he ordered it to be repeated at least three times, both on the trip upstream to Chelsea and on the return to Whitehall.

Handel, George Frideric

Theme from Water Music

10.   Monteverdi  -  Pur ti miro From l'Incoronazione di Poppea

Pur ti miro From l'Incoronazione di Poppea

11.   Handel  -  Hallelujah from Messiah (complete)

Hallelujah from Messiah (complete)

12.   Pergolesi  -  Stabat Mater

Stabat Mater

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