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 Sonata for Viola Solo (1992)

My Sonata for Viola Solo evolved from a great deal of improvisation, in addition to musical and instrumental ideas inspired by years of daily contact with my beloved Nicolo Amati viola. Only when the piece began taking shape did I realize that its blend of Middle-Eastern and Balkan flavors was a reflection of great longing for my childhood and for Israeli music of the 1950's.

The first movement, "Melancholia", makes use of the wistful, soulful quality of the viola sound. It is played with "expressive intonation", and some notes are marked to be lowered by almost (but not quite) a quartertone, thus enhancing the melancholy character of the movement and hinting at Middle-Eastern music.

The second movement, "Alla Bulgarese", owns more to music I have heard as a child in Tel Baruch — a community of immigrants from Bulgaria — than to the Sherzo from Bartok's String Quartet No.5 from which I have borrowed the title (and maybe some more). Central to this movement are two Bulgarian tunes my mother used to sing in moments of happiness. Appropriately, I dedicated the Sonata to her.

The third movement, "Finale sul ponticello", is a caprice in which I attempt — humorously and briefly — to shake off some of the nostalgia previously revealed.

I premiered the Sonata in Chicago, at the 22nd International Viola Congress, in June 1993. The Sonata was recentry issued on a RIAX CD, along with my String Quartet.

Click here to see the sample score!

Click here to listen to an audio sample! (MP3)

Click here to listen to an audio sample! (RealPlayer - Plug-in Required)

To purchase a copy of "Sonata for Viola Solo", contact:
Israel Music Institute
P.O.B. 3004 TEL-AVIV


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