C Bach .P.E. / Graun / Schweiz - Viola Concertos | RECORD STORE DAY

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For some time, writes viola virtuoso Mathis Rochat in the preface of this new release, he had been thinking to adapt Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Cello Concerto in B-flat Major for his own use. He calls it a "somewhat audacious transcription", but the range of the solo part is well-suited for the viola and can be performed on the instrument with great ease. Which had to be proven first! Indeed, the young Swiss artist lends the "higher-pitched" composition a power of momentum and elasticity from which the already supple, melodious music can only benefit. All the more, since it is a superb "overture" to both of the following works, which Johann Gottlieb Graun, eleven years Bach's senior, had intended for the viola. Sometimes flanked by it's little sister, as in the quiet Sturm und Drang C Minor concerto, then alone in sole competition with the string orchestra, this under-appreciated instrument shows in the music of the Berlin Court a wealth of expression that need not hide behind it's higher and lower rivals.