12 Amazing Viola covers and pieces that you will love

viola covers

We searched youtube for the best Viola covers out there, and came up with this beautiful playlist. Hope you like it as well.

The unsung hero of the orchestra “viola” is a string instrument that is generally played using a bow, It is the rich-toned middle voice, or the alto, of the violin family, positioned between the violin and the cello. The viola has the same basic construction as the violin but is larger is size and heavier with a deeper, richer, mellower, warmer sound than the violin. Viola players have contributed to music world ever since Mozart’s time and that is even more true in this day and age.
Here are 12 examples of great viola music and covers. Some of these pieces were written for viola originally and some were written for other instruments. However, all these pieces in the playlist are played on viola.

 

1- J.S. Bach: Cello Suite no.1

This piece was composed originally for cello by one of the greatest musicians of the History of the West “Johann Sebastian Bach”. It consists of 6 movements.

In the video, This piece is played on viola by Marc Sabbah. 

J.S. Bach Cello Suite no.1 | Marc Sabbah, viola
J.S. Bach Cello Suite no.1 | Marc Sabbah, viola

 

2- Bohemian Rhapsody for Symphony Orchestra and Solo Viola 

Together with the Indiana University Studio Orchestra, Nicholas Hersh, violist Sarah Harball and trumpeter Patrick Hunninghake arranged British rock band Queen’s song “Bohemian Rhapsody” for symphony orchestra and solo viola.

Bohemian Rhapsody for Symphony Orchestra and Solo Viola - THE STUDIO RECORDING
Bohemian Rhapsody for Symphony Orchestra and Solo Viola - THE STUDIO RECORDING

 

3- Carnevale di Venezia

The piece of Michael Kugel takes some variations of Paganini theme “Carnival”, but also develops original variations of this ancient melody, where the piano is very present. However, The theme of Paganini Variations Carnival is based on an old folk pattern.

In the video, Viola player: Dana Zemtsov. 

Kugel - Carnevale di Venezia-Dana Zemtsov, viola-Holland Sinfonia, Otto Tausk, conductor
Kugel - Carnevale di Venezia-Dana Zemtsov, viola-Holland Sinfonia, Otto Tausk, conductor

 

4- F.Tarrega – Tango

This arrangement of Francisco Tarrega’s Tango by Voilist Marco Misciagna.

F.Tarrega - Tango (Marco Misciagna, viola solo)
F.Tarrega - Tango (Marco Misciagna, viola solo)

 

5- Rebecca Clarke Viola Sonata

The Sonata for Viola and Piano, or Viola Sonata, was composed by Rebecca Clarke when she was thirty-three years old.

In the video, Viola player: Sarah Sung. 

Rebecca Clarke -  Viola Sonata
Rebecca Clarke - Viola Sonata

 

6- Michael Kugel: Prelude 

Another nice one of viola covers. Viola player Dana Zemtsov plays Michael Kugel’s Prelude.

Dana Zemtsov - Michael Kugel: Prelude - Ysaye
Dana Zemtsov - Michael Kugel: Prelude - Ysaye

 

7- Vivaldi on viola d’amore 

A viola d’amore, which actually translates to ”love viol”, generally is a six or seven-stringed instrument with several sympathetic strings. Vivaldi’s affiliation with this instrument seems to have been a lifelong interest. So, he composed many concertos for this instrument. Find out more about best Vivaldi’s works here.

A. VIVALDI: Viola d'amore Concerto in A minor RV 397, Accademia Bizantina
A. VIVALDI: Viola d'amore Concerto in A minor RV 397, Accademia Bizantina

 

8- Telemann: Viola Concerto

Russian conductor, violinist, and violist Youri Bashme is playing Telemann’s Viola Concerto, which is one of composer George Phillip Telemann’s most famous works. He wrote it sometime between 1716 to 1721 and was the first known concerto for viola. 

Youri Bashmet Telemann Viola Concerto
Youri Bashmet Telemann Viola Concerto

 

9- Walton: Bratschenkonzert 

This work consists of 3 movements, was composed by William Walton.

Solo Viola, Antoine Tamestit.

Walton: Bratschenkonzert ∙ hr-Sinfonieorchester ∙ Antoine Tamestit ∙ Manfred Honeck
Walton: Bratschenkonzert ∙ hr-Sinfonieorchester ∙ Antoine Tamestit ∙ Manfred Honeck

 

10- Bartok: Viola Concerto

The last work composed by Bartok before he succumbed to his disease of leukemia, so he didn’t finish it. After his death, his friend, Tibor Serly finished it and a revision was made by Bartok’s son Peter. The finished concerto was premiered in 1949 by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra.

In the video, Viola player: Hanna Lee 

B.Bartok Viola Concerto, BB128
B.Bartok Viola Concerto, BB128

 

11- Schubert – Arpeggione Sonata

This work consists of 3 movements, was composed by Franz Schubert.

In the video, Solo Viola: Richard Yongjae O’Neill.

[NYCP] Schubert - Arpeggione Sonata (Richard O'Neill, viola)
[NYCP] Schubert - Arpeggione Sonata (Richard O'Neill, viola)

 

12- Ed Sheeran: Perfect

This viola cover of Ed Sheeran’s famous song “Perfect” by viola player Jeremy Green.

Ed Sheeran | Perfect | Jeremy Green | Viola Cover
Ed Sheeran | Perfect | Jeremy Green | Viola Cover

 



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