Concerto for viola and orchestra
Dempster, Thomas Jefferson
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Completed in early 2010, the Concerto for Viola and Orchestra is a major foray into composing a concertante work for the viola, an instrument without the rich history of concertos of the violin or ‘cello. In three movements, the Concerto employs a diversity of compositional techniques for the viola and explores the timbral possibilities for the orchestra. The work derives primarily from the series of initial gestures in the viola, and, in the span of over forty minutes, as many possible permutations on these ideas are explored throughout the solo instrument and orchestra. Following the score of the work is a theoretical analysis of the piece, including a condensed history of the viola concerto as a genre. Within this examination, issues concerning approaches to deconstructing a 21st-Century orchestral work are discussed alongside structural, melodic, motivic, and orchestrational analyses.