The foreword to this great piece mentions that Anton Stamitz was less well-known than his older brother Carl. This seems unjustified when you hear/play the piece. It is the first viola concerto that I have attempted (I am working on my grade 7 currently), and extremely satisfying to play.
I would recommend it to violists at grade 6 and above, as it uses a wide range on the instrument (up to a high D), and makes use of many high scale runs and semiquaver arpeggios. The second movement is an option for violists taking their grade 6 associated board exam. It is relatively short movement in the dominant key (D Major) that has a beautiful sound when played with appropriate emotion. I have not yet attempted the rondo, but it has a clear melody in 2/4 that returns to round off the concerto. Overall, I would recommend this as a brilliant example of a rare thing - a Classical period concerto for viola. It's a shame Mozart never wrote one, but this is certainly close.
- (Southampton, United Kingdom)