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Elizabeth Maconchy

Publisher: Chester Music

Romanza (1979)
Commissioned by the John Bate Orchestra
Chester Music Ltd
Soloist(s) and Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
12 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Programme Note
Elizabeth Maconchy Romanza (1979)
ROMANZA for solo viola and Ensemble

I have long been in love with the viola, and find myself giving it the best things, for instance, in my String Quartets.

Now I have gone one further ans written a ROMANZA for solo viola with an ensemble of five winds and strings. In its single movement of about twelve minutes it displays considerable variety of theme and mood.

The soloist opens with a rocking theme in quiet dark double stopping, then flowers into melodic phrases in which the winds all participate.

The texture remains contrapuntal, with an interweaving of long lines, until the soloist introduces an almost march-like section, with dotted rythms.

In a meno mosso the viola draws a high-lying melodic line over a sustained wind passage, and a climax is reached. The music then unwinds, the opening is quietly recalled and the viola finally fades out into the far distance.

Elizabeth Maconchy

  • Ensemble
    Orchestra Nova
    Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola)
    George Vass
    Dutton Epoch:
  • 13 AUG 2011
    Proms 2011
    Cadogan Hall, London
    London Sinfonietta
    Paul Silverthorne, viola; Nicholas Collon, conductor
  • 14 FEB 2009
    Gray's Inn Hall, London
    Syred Sinfonia
    Ben Palmer, conductor

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