Book 4—viola

Jonathan said: Nov 22, 2010
 11 posts

We recently started book 4 (viola), and I’m curious about what lies ahead. Any insights, tips, warnings … from parents who have been through this already?

We’re currently on the Seitz #5 mvt 1. Peeking ahead, the two Vivaldis look substantially more difficult. On the other hand, the Telemann concertos don’t seem all that hard (unless the fast movements are played really fast…)


said: Nov 22, 2010
 89 posts

The exciting thing about book 4 is that once you get to the Telemanns, you’re playing “real” viola music, leaving the violin stuff behind (for the most part).

Michelle said: Nov 22, 2010
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
25 posts

Seconded—yay for the Telemann concerto and “real” viola music. That’s why there seems to be a disconnect between the Vivaldis and the Telemann. The Vivaldis are the last vestige of just playing the violin stuff down a 5th or an octave and the Telemann is the transition into the world of music written for the viola. As such, it’s a transition from the technical demands of the violin, into the tonal demands of the viola. I like to spend a good bit of time in the first and third movement really building up the “viola” tone. The second and fourth movements are just fun in my opinion, but my students do have to work at getting the fourth fast enough.

Also, a whole double concerto! Not just one movement, although the violas will get to learn the Bach double violin 2 in book 6, so they aren’t left out there either, but all 4 movements! How fun.

Enjoy the move into the depths of viola sound.

Now available in blog form.

Jonathan said: Nov 22, 2010
 11 posts

Hey, thanks for the replies. We are very enthusiastic about this (and have been listening to a recording of both Telemann concertos with orchestra.)

I’m curious how most teachers handle the Telemann concertos. Do you have kids work on the movements in order (1, 2, 3, 4)? Do you polish one movement before starting the next, or work on bits and pieces from different places in the concerto? For the Double concerto, do you teach both lines, or just one? Of course I’ll find this out first-hand in a few months, but it’s fun to look forward to this all…..

I play the cello a bit, and up to now it’s been easy to keep up with everything my child has been playing on viola in books 1-3. But it’s not so easy in book 4! I’d like to hang in long enough to be able to play along with my daughter on the second line when she starts working on the Telemann Double.

said: Nov 22, 2010
 89 posts

Don’t know about most teachers, my my daughter’s teacher had her learn both parts of the double.

If you also have a violinist, you can perform the second movement as a violin-viola duet with only a little rewrite of a couple of C string notes. (That may be true of the other movements also, not sure.) This was a nice way to have family performances before our violist learned the Bach double movement.

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