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SATB: with Orchestra without Viola

Thank you listers for your responses. I have compiled them below for your
information. I am delighted at the collective wisdom and scope of knowledge
exhibited by you. This list is truly a priceless resource for all of us.

Edwin Foster
Morris Conservatory
PO Box 416
Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046

email: fre321(a)

>From Marcia Lee Goldberg

Hi! I don't have the answer to your question, but another work to add to your

Mozart ADAGIO, K 580a - English horn solo and string orchestra - no violas.
It's also available for English horn, 2 violins and cello.

We offer a reconstruction of this piece (either version) by Robert Cowart, who
played English horn with the LA Phil.

All good wishes,

To: fre321(a)

-- [ From: Robert L. Stoskopf * EMC.Ver #2.5.3 ] --
Expanded recipient data:
cc: Viola \ Internet: (viola(a)

Rossini's String Sonatas do not utilize violas.

Robert Stoskopf
Atlanta, GA
New e-mail address: stos(a)
"Often wrong but never in doubt."
There are a number of great pieces in Monteverdi's collection 'Salva
Morale e spirtuale' for choir, 2 violins & continuo. Some seem intended
for solo violins rather than tutti however.

I know that some early Baroque music was published without viola parts,
leaving that to be filled in at will (along, say, with doubling
woodwinds) by the local music director depending on his resources. I
seem to remember that this may even apply to early Handel works - but
I'm not sure.

By Mozart's time, however, I think this practice had disappeared, so no
viola part is no longer an invitation to 'fill in the gaps'.

Bevan Leviston - Director - Ars Nova,
PO Box 12174, Melbourne, VIC 8006, Australia
Tel: (61 3) 9662 9010 Fax: (61 3) 9662 9474
Web: EMail: arsnova(a)
The evolution of Austrian church music in the 18th century was more
Italian than French in its roots. Late Baroque Italian church music
usually had a "trio-sonata"-like basic accompaniment of 2 violins and
basso continuo. In Viennese church music studies this accompaniment
is often called the "Viennese church trio" accompaniment -- the basic
accompaniment for short and long Masses and other church works.
The viola, if used, was mostly a doubling instrument -- doubling the
basso or a singing voice.
Had Austrian church music more "French" influence, I'm sure violas
would have regularly been part of the Salzburg church orchestra.

Bruce MacIntyre, Brooklyn College/CUNY
From: Canticum
To: Fre321

Mr. Foster,

I think the tradition in Salzburg was to use only violins and cello - bass for
much of the church music. There are also several Haydn mass settings for the
same instrumentation so it must have been an Austrian thing.

Space was also a concern at the Cathedral in Salzburg. The instrumentalists
played from balconies and that limited things a bit.

I hope that answers your question.

Bob Sabourin
Midland, MI
I think that the chief reason for the absence of violas might be
tradition. They were not often used in more popular Austrian music
of the time. For better information, I recommend contacting the director
of the Salzburg Dom Musik Archiv, Dr. Ernst Hintermaier
[ernst.hintermaier(a)], or getting a copy of his 1972
dissertation from the University of Salzburg, "Die salzburger
Hofkapelle von 1700 bis 1806: Organisation und Personal."

As to your second question, I would suggest some of the masses of
Johann Michael Haydn [who, incidentally, used to fill in as a viola
player at the cathedral, when needed]. As a result of my recent
sabbatical, I have completed several editions of
previously unpublished masses by Johann Michael Haydn. These works
are in Finale format, and have been transcribed from the autograph
scores and cross-checked against the authentic copies found in
Salzburg, Muenchen, and Paris.

1. Missa in Honorem Sanctissimae Trinitatis (Wien, OEsterreichische
Nationalbibliothek Musiksammlung Mus. mss. 15.589): SSATB soloists &
choir, 2 clarini, tympani, 2 vl., vla., organ. Kyrie (54m.), Christe
(152m), Kyrie da capo, Gloria (396m), Credo (292m), Sanctus (56m),
Benedictus (77m), Agnus Dei (156m)

2. Missa Sancti Francisci Seraphici (B) (Wien, OEsterreichische
Nationalbibliothek Musiksammlung Mus. mss. 16.455 A): SATB soloists &
choir, 2 clarini, 2 trombe, tympani, 2 vl. (fag.) & organ. Kyrie
(118m), Gloria (171m), Credo (187 m), Sanctus/Benedictus (192m),
Agnus Dei (68m).

3. Missa Sancti Joannis Nepomuceni (Krakow, Biblioteca Jagiellonska,
Mus. ms. autogr. Haydn, J. Mich. 2)): SATB choir, 2 ob., 2 clarini, 2
trombe, 2 tromboni, tympani, 2vl., organ. Kyrie (48m), Gloria
(176m), Credo (105m), Sanctus/Benedictus (156m), Agnus Dei (154m).

4. Missa Sanctae Cyrilli et Methodii (Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Mus.
Ms. autogr. Haydn, J. Mich 3): SATB solo & choir, 2 clarini, 2
trombe, 2 tromboni, tympani, solo violin, 2 vl., organ. Kyrie
(215m), Gloria (560m), Credo (265m), Sanctus/Benedictus (118m), Agnus
Dei (162m).

5. Missa in D [Missa Brevis] (Wien, Wien, OEsterreichische
Nationalbibliothek Musiksammlung Mus. mss. F.5 Moedling 558): SATB
choir & soloists, 2 vl., organ. This work is incorrectly cited as a
copy of the Missa in Honorem Sanctissimae Trinitatis in Sherman's
thematic catalogue of Johann Michael Haydn's works. In his doctoral
dissertation, he gives the incipit for the 1st violin part as no. 43
of the "doubtful and spurious masses", citing two sets of manuscript
parts in Heiligenkreuz and Neukloster (Heiligenkreuz). The card
catalogue of the Austrian National Library lists it according to the
Klafsky catalogue as the Missa in honorem Beatissimae Trinitatis.
Kyrie (37m), Gloria (25m), Credo (37m), Sanctus/Benedictus (57m),
Agnus Dei (41m).

In addition, I am close to completing another Missa Brevis in C (no.
42 in Sherman's catalogue) from a set of parts in the Muenchen
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. It is about the same size and quality as
#5 in the above list, but includes 2 clarini parts.

I'm hoping to get one or two of these published, but I would be
interested in sending out a score/parts if you're interested in a

Good luck in your search, and please let me know what you find
regarding viola performance practice.

Sincerely yours,
Gordon Trousdale
Clark College
Sender: RDOYLE666(a) (Roger O. Doyle)
To: Fre321(a) (INTERNET:Fre321(a)


The answer is C....there were no violists available to him in Salzburg.

Roger O. Doyle
University of Portland OR
(but now on sabbatical leave in Ireland)
From: connolly(a) (Michael Connolly)
To: Fre321(a)

Look for cantatas by Buxtehude, including Jesu meine Freude, which has no

I look forward to seeing more results.

Michael Conolly
Well, I'm not a musicologist, but I seem to recall hearing an answer to
this during my doctoral studies, and it was not on your list:

If I'm correct, the answer is "Other." I seem to recall that the violas
were used to playing the continuo line (bass line) up an octave. Now, my
memory is faulty and I may be way off base. Notice, however, that the
music on your list is all church music. Church music retained the
continuo and other conservative (Baroque) traditions. One of these may
be that there is often no separate viola part (see below).

Just check out a large portion of Baroque music, much of which uses two
violins and continuo. Try Buxtehude, for one.

Bob Prowse, D.M.A.
University of North Alabama

Sorry, no answer to question #1, but I do have a suggestion for #2:

Some (most) of Handel's Chandos Anthems were written without viola and alto
voice! One that I have enjoyed conducting and performing is Anthem #4, "O
Sing Unto the Lord a New Song." It also uses oboes, organ, and for one
movement, requires a strong cellist. I can give you more specific
information if you are interested.

Also, Haydn's "Little Organ" Mass is scored for two violins and continuo
group. This scoring is often referred to as a Viennese church trio.

Hope this helps.

Steve Hopkins
Director of Choral Activities
School of Music
Appalachian State Univ.
Boone, NC 28608
email: HOPKINSSM(a)
From: gpeterson(a) (Gary Peterson)
Here are some violaless tunes:

JS Bach - cantata #150 Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich. 0-0-0-1 0-0-0-0 str
(no vla) SATB, Mixed Chorus
Beethoven - Contradances (WoO 14) 1-2-2-2 2-0-0-0 perc., str. (no vla)
Beethoven - German dances (WoO 8) 2+1-2-2-2 2-2-0-0 timp perc str (no vla)
post horn
Buxtehude - Du Griedefurst Herr Jusu Christ (Grusnick) org, str (no vla),
mixed chor
Buxtehude - Jesu, meine Freude 0-0-0-1 0-0-0-0 org, str (no vla) solo SB,
mixed chor
Buxtehude - Lauda Sion salvarotem org, str (no vla) solo sop, mixed chor
Buxtehude - Schlagt Kunstler die Pauken 0-0-0-1 0-2-0-0 timp, org, str (no
vla) mixed chor
Orlando Gibbons - Fantasia 1 & 2 (Fellowes) str (no vla)
Tommaso Giordani - Concerto for Harpsichord in C, str 9no vla) solo hpschd
Haydn - Missa Brevis (Hob.XXII:17) org, str (no vla) solo sop, mixed chor
L. Mozart - Wedding minuet 0-0-0-0 2-0-0-0 str (no vla) hpschd
A. Scarlatti - Su le Sponde del Tebro 0-0-0-0 0-1-0-0 str (no vla) solo
Telemann - Concerto for flute, in G str (no vla), hpschd, fl
Telemann - Concerto for trumpet in D, str (no vla) cont., tpt

Gary Peterson,
conductor, Sinfonia Calcania of Boston
principal trumpet, Singapore Symphony Orchestra
From: NealGitt(a)
Yes. All the wonderful "German Dances" that WAM wrote for the Viennese
ball season (K509, 567, 571, 586, 600, 602, and 605 -- 43 dances in all)
are violaless. That seems to have been the tradition for these dance
bands. (Or perhaps, the violists, being more intelligent than most other
folk, were drinking and dancing instead of playing!) I played some of
them last season on a New Year's Eve concert. The violas had a great
time, slumping off-stage, unneeded and unwanted, before we played the
dances. But when we got to the next piece on the program, they wouldn't
come back onstage until the audience begged and shouted "We want violas!"
Their egos restored, they returned...

Simplest answer in the world. There were no violas in the Saltzburg church
orchestra. The Archbishop didn't hire any. That's one sure way to
identify the sacred music that was written for Saltzburg. Mozart wrote for
what was available, like any sensible commercial musician.


John & Susie Howell (John.Howell(a)
Virginia Tech Department of Music
Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A. 24061-0240
Vox (540) 231-8411 Fax (540) 231-5034
From: dcastong(a) (David Otis Castonguay)

I would be interested to hear what you learn from the posting. I recall a
professor long ago telling me that the violas doubled the cello parts,
hence no separate viola parts in the MS sets. However, this results in
some rather strange voice leadings within the texture of a few of the
masses I have examined scored for this "Salzburg trio."

From: TMOUNT(a)
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5475
Timothy A Mount Music 516 632-7329
Dear Edwin,
I've performed a lot of Mozart and have asked the same question many
times. Another alternative that some respected musicologists have come up
is they simply doubled the 'cello (continuo) part an octave higher.
It is interesting to note (and perhaps totally irrelevant) Handel used
no violas (or altos) in his Chandos anthems, written for a much smaller church
with more limited resources. Please let me know the results of your search.


Timothy Mount
From: mekrentz(a) (Michael Krentz)

I've always taken the no viola as a continuation of the standard Baroque
"trio" instrumentation of two treble instruments (violins) and basso
continuo. The Church Sonatas are very similar to a baroque trio sonata.

As for music to program with the Mozart works you mention, I'd look at
Baroque stuff, of which there is tons. A particular favorite of mine is
Telemann's motet on Psalm 117, "Laudate Jehovam."

Michael Krentz
Bethlehem, PA
From: Hoffacker
To: Fre321

>From several reference books I've read, the Archbishop of Salzburg, Coronado,
did not like violas.
From: jace(a) (Jeffrey Carter)

I looked into this last year. It seems the Bishop was a bit cheap, and
didn't want to pay for the usual complement of instruments. This was also
a time when the Pope had decreed that Mass settings be less ornate, so
trumpets and drums were used only on the highest of holy days, but not on
regular Feasts of Our Lord and so on. Hope this helps.....

Jeffrey Carter
From: info(a) (Mark Foster Music Company)

Sorry I cannot help on question #1, though methinks it was
more a "stylistic norm" for Salzburger kirchenmusik to be

As far as the second question, the following are pieces in
our catalog that are also viola-free:

In Virtute Tua by G. Gorczycki (MF 2008)
(vn1, vn2, vc, cont)
Dixit et Magnificat by L. Mozart (MF 2071)
(tpt1, tpt2, vn1, vn2, vc, cont)
Magnificat a 8 by Martini (MF 417)
(vn1, vn2, vc, cont)
Lauda Anima Mea Dominum (MF 131)
(vn1, vn2, vc, cont)

If you would like reference copies of any of these, let
me know and I'll send them (please include a snail-mail
Dr. David Bohn
Mark Foster Music Company
P.O.Box 4012 Champaign IL 61824-4012
Vox 217-398-2760/800-359-1386
Fax 217-398-2791
I believe that Telemann's "Laudate Jehovam" is violaless. Also take a look
at Buxtehude's "In Dulci Jubilo".

As I recall, this was fairly standard practice with composers around Vienna
(Haydn did this too), but I'm not sure why.

Ross C. Bernhardt, D.M.A.
Director of Choral Activities
Lambuth University
Jackson, TN 38301
(901) 425-3248
on October 15, 2007 10:00pm
I'm going to use #5 in Eb with my HS Orchestra and have the violists double the 1st and 2nd violin part as much as possible. It will give them some great experience reading treble clef.-