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Viola or Cello


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#1 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 18:41

In general (very generally!!!), would I be more likely to be accepted into an amateur orchestra playing viola or cello at the same level?  That is, is there generally more need for viola players?


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#2 Tenor Viol

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 19:38

Viola players are always in demand, cellos are usually welcome... 


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#3 JoannaB

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 14:40

Generally yes, there are twice as many cellos as violas in my orchestra.
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#4 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 20:33

OK, thanks!


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#5 Tenor Viol

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 22:12

It is a bit weird in that the groups I know seem to have a decent number of cellos but struggle for violas. I think it's weird because cellos are significantly more expensive to buy and also a royal pain to transport around... (and nice carbon fibre cases are ridiculously expensive)


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#6 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 00:22

It is a bit weird in that the groups I know seem to have a decent number of cellos but struggle for violas. I think it's weird because cellos are significantly more expensive to buy and also a royal pain to transport around... (and nice carbon fibre cases are ridiculously expensive)

But they are gorgeous as instruments go; such an incredible sound range (in the right hands) and repertoire to match, so perhaps can understand the appeal despite the cost etc.


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#7 Tenor Viol

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 06:27

 

It is a bit weird in that the groups I know seem to have a decent number of cellos but struggle for violas. I think it's weird because cellos are significantly more expensive to buy and also a royal pain to transport around... (and nice carbon fibre cases are ridiculously expensive)

But they are gorgeous as instruments go; such an incredible sound range (in the right hands) and repertoire to match, so perhaps can understand the appeal despite the cost etc.

 

As a cellist, I can't argue...


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#8 Norway

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 09:07

:agree: :wub:


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#9 Violin Hero

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 10:22

I'd pick the cello over viola anyday. Sure it costs a heck of a lot more but you actually get a reasonable amount of melody and there are some great cello concertos. Who is familiar with any viola concertos beyond the Walton concerto?

As for demand most amateur orchesteas need more of both but violas are certainly in shorter supply. Actually most amateur orchestras will take more of any type of string player.
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#10 Arundodonuts

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 11:30

It is a bit weird in that the groups I know seem to have a decent number of cellos but struggle for violas. I think it's weird because cellos are significantly more expensive to buy and also a royal pain to transport around... (and nice carbon fibre cases are ridiculously expensive)

It's not weird it's the norm. Violas simply are not as popular as violins or cellos. When I turned up to an amateur orchestra, oboe in hand, the conductor said "I'm told you play viola too"! Erm, no, I don't, I did for a bit a long time ago. It is a gorgeous instrument in my view though it doesn't have the same expansive repertoire as violin or cello and is not generally viewed as a solo instrument. Those of us who have played it know differently. You will be welcomed with open arms into an amateur orchestra with a viola. 

A little inspiration (erm, scroll down, I've no idea why the gap is there).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tL_A1j61tHY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJaygbQjMJ0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iI449TPR68

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc7RDmYeY_o


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#11 Tenor Viol

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 21:18

There is a Telemann concerto for viola


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#12 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 22:36

Are Stentor II violas decent starting instruments?


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#13 Flossie

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 01:20

Are Stentor II violas decent starting instruments?

 

A Stentor II, Primavera or Westbury is fine to start with.  Unless it has been set up with improved strings etc by the shop, you will need to upgrade the strings straight away because factory strings are awful (Dominant strings are a good starting point).  I got to approaching grade 7 on a Primavera with upgraded strings (Obligatos by that point) and an upgraded bow.  I upgraded because the instrument couldn't cope with the tone colouring I needed for the Hindemidth Meditation or the Tchaikovsky I was working on (it wouldn't for my teacher either) and because the viola I had was too large for me and was causing technical and shoulder problems.  

 

You will ideally need to go somewhere to try some violas for size.  16 inches is sometimes considered to be the 'standard' size for a viola (better violas are rarely so exact, though!), but some people who can cope with them prefer 16.5 inches.  For smaller people, a 16 inch will be too large (I started on a 15.5 inch and now have a 15 which is the right size for me).  A teacher would be able to advise you on what size to get.

 

I would not recommend trying to learn either viola or cello without a teacher.  It is extremely important to develop good technique from the start on these instruments because poor technique can cause injuries (in addition to limiting your playing and becoming difficult to correct).  For viola, a teacher will need to give guidance on posture and the set up (chin rest, shoulder rest etc) which best suits you.  


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#14 Arundodonuts

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 11:33

My viola was a 15.5". My teacher had a "Tertis model" which felt like an absolute monster next to mine. I always felt I liked the tone of smaller violas - they tend to emphasise that rather "recessed" quality of the sound (caused by the instrument being too small for its pitch), though bigger ones are arguably better suited to solo repertoire. I think I used Dominant and Jargar strings at various times.


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#15 Gordon Shumway

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 07:22

There is a Telemann concerto for viola

I've got two CDs of it, but neither is as good as this Bashmet version.

https://www.youtube....h?v=eXM4gQQCY8E


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