Get the sheet music here: https://www.universaledition.com/sheet-music-shop/violamania-for-viola-igudesman-aleksey-ue38026
And as PDF here:
Filmed by the wonderful Göteborgs Symfoniker (Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra), with whom Lawrence Power performed.
Check out their youtube channel:
Violamania - 11 pieces for Viola Solo by Aleksey Igudesman
As with all of Aleksey's music, these works inhabit a magical world of creativity which invite the performer to characterize in a fun and unique way. I'm honored that “Brexit Polka” was written for me - possibly the only positive to come out of this strange, sad situation in which we find ourselves!
Aleksey Igudesman is a truly imaginative and generous artist. In this new book dedicated to the Viola, which I could’t be happier about, he included the “Passacaglia for Antoine Tamestit” which I premiered. Challenging but in a fun way, musically rich with so many different colors, it is a wonderful piece, both serious and entertaining. It is situated at the crossroads between baroque, romantic, contemporary and even Spanish flamenco music. You will find in it everything you wish as a true modern performer. Aleksey Igudesman has respect for - and knowledge of - the past, but looks into the future. Hope you’ll enjoy this piece as much I did and do.
11 pieces for solo viola
The viola is a beautiful instrument. In spite of all the viola jokes. Or perhaps even because of them. When it’s played well, it’s a great and wonderful surprise! The viola's range going up nearly as high as a violin, but yet having that beautiful C string at the bottom, gives it the role of the tenor of the string instruments. In the world of opera, the tenors are often the butt of a joke. Yet in spite of the all the tenor jokes, they are still the most sought-after singers.
What many may not realise is that the viola came first. Not the chicken. Nor the egg. Before there was any mention of a violin or a cello, people all played viola. Admittedly, it had a different shape – or shapes, more like it. Every string instrument was a sort of viola at the beginning: Viola d’amore, viola da gamba and viola da braccio. The latter, later split into the violin (small viola) and in German: Bratsche. So you see, contrary to the myth, this German word does not derive from the sound it makes when you sit on it!
However, I was not only inspired by the beautiful instrument but also by some of the beautiful people who play it. This time it's personal. Each piece is dedicated to a friend of mine, all of whom I have known for years and all of them viola players. Okay, I cheated a little, some of them also play the violin, but the viola is still an instrument they play constantly and with great passion.
Some of these pieces are simple and melodic, others are highly virtuoso. The piece for Antoine Tamestit, he performed at the end of his solo viola recital as the grand finale. And the title "Brexit Polka" was an idea of Lawrence Power. It quotes one or two seconds from all of the national anthems of the European Union and has the British National Anthem, as their somewhat disturbing counterpart, interrupting them. However, each of the pieces is dedicated to the person who, in some way, inspired me.
When I was looking for the right person to design the cover for "Violamania", I came across the extraordinary artist, Annamaria Kowalsky. Besides being a painter and photographer, she also happens to be a viola player and composer. As her Facebook profile picture she has a photo of herself with an amazing painting of hers and a text saying: "I am still a musician. I am just using my full potential." And that could easily be the credo of my life.
For Aliona Komarovskaya
For Subin Lee
For Mari Adachi
For Mariko Hara
For Eszter Haffner
For David Aaron Carpenter
7 Brexit Polka
For Lawrence Power
For Amihai Grosz
9 Introduction and Vivace
for Sarah McElravy and Julian Rachlin
For Antoine Tamestit
for Annamaria Kowalsky