Masterclass: Glazunov Elegy in G minor for viola and piano op.44

Paul Laraia courtesy of the artist

Violist Paul Laraia explores the lyrical possibilities of this miniature masterpiece and the emotional journey on which it takes the listener

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Written in 1893 for Alexander Glazunov’s friend, Danish viola player Franz Hildebrand, this piece is one of the few original works in the Romantic idiom for viola and so it is a treasured part of our repertoire, despite its relative brevity. With its simple phrase structure and accompaniment, I imagine the viola playing the part of a troubadour while the rolled chords in the piano can almost sound like a lute. To me, this piece is an incredible exercise in simplicity, with all the complexity necessary to convey that…

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