Violist David Aaron Carpenter has just released a two-disc set of music for viola and orchestra. The pieces include two 20th-century viola concertos, an arrangement of Antonin Dvorak's cello concerto for viola and orchestra and three world premieres by the Kiev-born and New York-based composer Alexey Shor.
Bela Bartok's concerto for viola and orchestra was left unfinished at the time of his death in 1945. His student Tibor Serly was given the task of creating a concerto from the sketches Bartok had left behind. Serly completed his version in 1949, when the premiere performance was given.
William Walton completed a viola concerto in 1929 that was rejected by its intended performer Lionel Tertis. In 1962, Tertis admitted his mistake and gave the concerto's premiere performance.
The three world premiere pieces by Alexey Shor have had far less complicated paths to their first performances compared to the works by Bartok and Walton. "Murka Metamorphosis," one of the movements from "The Well-Tempered Chanson," was actually composed as an encore for Carpenter.