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Atar Arad compares the Walton Viola Concerto with the Prokofiev First Violin Concerto

Music history is full of examples of composers who borrow ideas and material from one another or from their own earlier works. Beyond that there is the well-known compositional device of writing to a model – i.e. using an existing work to determine the shape and form of a new one. Here we are concerned with an odd case involving both phenomena – a large-scale borrowing and a multi-grid modeling. The work in question is the Viola Concerto by William Walton. The model is the First Violin Concerto by Sergei Prokofiev. By its nature, some of the evidence brought forward for discussion later on may seem more cabala than music. To my mind, however, it suggests rather a peculiar kind of a game, a caprice, perhaps a private joke or escapade. If so, Walton was much less than eager to reveal the rules of his game – nor was he inclined to share the laughter with his public...

Original Article - Strad Magazine (Printable High-Resolution Version): Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4

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