Reading the Walton Violin Concerto

A while ago, I posted a concert video of the Walton viola concerto, which was the piece I heard that inspired me to start playing viola! Well… I finally got around to ordering the sheet music and it arrived Friday. I probably won’t start working seriously on the piece until November or December, and I expect to take months to learn it when I start practicing it, but I couldn’t resist reading through the third movement (the least difficult movement) a few times as soon as I had the sheet music in my hands. Here’s the first couple pages of the movement, on my second reading of it, mostly in slow tempo. Of course I’ve heard the piece quite a few times before, so it’s not entirely sight-reading.

I missed a number of notes badly and completely overlooked a big tempo change (the notes would have been easier if I’d noticed it, because the tempo should slow down a lot at that spot). Still, this looks playable with some work. I think I’m going to want to keep posting progress videos of as I slowly learn it. It’s just so exciting to have the music in my hands, since you could say it’s where my journey started! Playing this piece has been a goal for 17 years.

It turns out one of the orchestras I play in will perform this concerto in April, with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra’s principal violist as our soloist. I’m really looking forward to the chance to hear it close-up, from inside the orchestra, and taken apart in rehearsals.

One thought on “Reading the Walton viola concerto!

  1. Hi Andrew, seems like you will have a lot of fun learning this beautiful concerto! This is so special that you will be working on the concerto that inspired you to start playing the viola. I wish you good luck with it!! And I’m looking forward to your updates about your progress with the Walton viola concerto.

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