Music Appreciation

《Romance for Viola and Orchestra in F Major, Op. 85》

Max Bruch (1838-1920)

Joachim Tielke ,Va (c. 1695)
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As a German composer and conductor, Max Bruch’s music follows in Brahms’ footsteps and the German Romantic tradition. “Romance, Op. 85” may be described as a precious gem in the viola repertoire of the Romantic period, occupying a permanent place in the classroom and on the concert stage. In 1911 Bruch also published an arrangement of the piece for violin and piano in parallel with his original version for the viola. With the viola as the lead instrument and the piano playing the accompaniment, the melody conveys a flowing lyricism and never for a moment loses its dramatic tension. The triplets in duple meter lend the music a mysterious drive; the melody stays constantly in close dialogue with the accompaniment, allowing the two instruments to complement each other seamlessly. After the dazzling display of rapid upward arpeggios in the middle section, the piece returns to the theme introduced in the beginning and ends on a high note played very softly, leaving ample space for interpretation in the listener’s imagination.