New Brahms Video!

Check out the newest addition to my YouTube Channel!  It’s a video of Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 1 which I transcribed myself for the viola.  My friend Dominic Cheli, who will also be my collaborator on my upcoming album, agreed to make a video with me of the piece, and I’m really happy with the result.

We violists are lucky to have two sonatas by Brahms for our instrument, but I’ve always loved his three sonatas for violin and piano.  I never got the chance to study these pieces on violin, but I got the idea that I might be able to play the first sonata on the viola.  Other transcriptions of the piece exist for the viola, but most of them lower the entire piece to a different key so that it’s more suitable for the viola’s range.  However, in my opinion, this makes a lot of the piece sound too “muddy,” especially in the low register of the piano.  So I had the idea to keep the original key but just transpose a few parts that are too high on the viola down an octave while keeping the piano part exactly the same.  In fact, this is pretty much the same thing that Brahms himself did when he transcribed his own clarinet sonatas for the viola!  

In any case, I hope you enjoy the video (which I also edited myself).  I was thrilled to get to finally play this amazing piece.  Maybe some day I’ll get to play the other two violin sonatas as well!

all news

Ben Ullery