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Rolla, A.: Viola Sonatas - Esercizi - Duetto, Op. 18, No. 1

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Customer Reviews

A Sparkling Recording!

In the world of Viola, there is a common perception that we lack repertoire, especially in the period from 1650-1800. Despite the fact that the viola doesn't have nearly as much rep as, say, the violin, there is a body of work available but relatively unknown. Rolla is one such composer, who wrote an astonishing amount of music for the viola in the form of solo excercises, sonatas and duets with either two violas or violin.

This recording features recordings of little-performed works that is invaluable to a violist who wishes to perform these excellent representations of Classical Period viola music. Stumm has a clear and bright tone that combines the rich viola sound with stylistically accurate execution. In my opinion the most interesting works on here are the Esercizi, if only because Exercises of any sort are rarely found in recorded form. Rolla actually has fared well in this department more than most - as I have heard other recordings of Rolla Exercises and Etudes - and this is probably due to the fact that his exercises are exceedingly musical and interesting to listen to. Stamms' interpretations are fantastic, especially the G major Exercise and Arpeggio. The most surprising thing about the works of Rolla is his rather frequent use of the sul ponticello effect, which for music of this period jumps out as a technique associated more with modern music. Yet there it is, found on 3 of the 5 pieces on the album.

Overall an excellent addition both to a violist's repertoire reference collection and a Classical music appreciator's playlist.


Rolla was probably the world's first virtuoso violist, and a remarkable composer whose work is not heard often enough. Ms. Stumm is an amazingly talented performer, who exhibits incredible passion in bringing Rolla's repetoire to life. This is a wonderful listening experience.

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Rolla, A.: Viola Sonatas - Esercizi - Duetto, Op. 18, No. 1, Jennifer Stumm
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