Applying the Ševčik analytical studies method to Bartók's Concerto for viola and orchestra
Peyton, Megan Chisom
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Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra is a major work in the instrument’s repertoire, and poses significant challenges to the performer. For several works of similar stature in the violin literature, Otakar Ševčík wrote analytical studies to guide the performer through the learning process, essentially providing how-to manuals for violinists. Though method books and etudes exist for the viola in original and transcribed form, no published collections equivalent to Ševčík’s analytical studies exist for any major viola works. This dissertation addresses the lack of composition-specific preparatory exercises for the viola with specific respect to Bartók’s Concerto. Moving sequentially through the work, the most challenging passages from each movement are discussed, and original, newly-composed exercises in the style of Ševčík’s analytical studies are provided. Passages are categorized according to difficulty, and references to commercially available etudes that address similar techniques are provided. Recommendations are made for the practice of both the provided exercises and the original passages from the Concerto. Musical examples from the viola parts for both the Tibor Serly and Peter Bartók/Nelson Dellamaggiore editions of the Concerto are provided for each passage discussed.