My life has been rather bucolic this summer, and my various projects are punctuated with some somewhat focused viola d'amore practice, in preparation for the viola d'amore congress that is being held in Evanston, IL two weeks from today.
Some music written for the viola works for viola d'amore, but most of it just doesn't. The sympathetic strings on the instrument (and there are seven of them that echo the seven strings: a bunch of As and Ds, and then a D triad--either major or minor--on the top) enhance some pieces, but they clash terribly with others.
Just for fun I decided to see if the Sonata for Viola and Piano I wrote in 2003 would work for the viola d'amore. I was stunned. It actually lies better (and sounds better) on the viola d'amore than it does on the viola! The odd thing is that I wrote this years before I even knew anything of the inns and outs of writing for the viola d'amore. I wrote it before I ever held one in my hands.
My Viola Sonata is published by Subito, and they kindly let me update the piece for Viola d'amore.