"What We're Listening To": Carl Philipp Stamitz's Viola Concerto in D Major
Carl Phillipp Stamitz (1745-1801) was a German composer of partial Czech ancestry. His father, Johann Stamitz, was a violinist and composer of the early classical era. During his youth, Carl Stamitz took lessons from his father who was also a violinist and composer of the era. Later, Stamitz gained employment as a violinist in the court orchestra at Mannheim, and then he began to travel as a virtuoso. He would accept short-term performances and engagements, but failed to find a permanent position.
In 1794, he gave up traveling and moved with his family to central Germany. Sadly, his circumstances began to take a turn for the worse and he descended into debt and poverty, dying in 1801.
Stamitz wrote symphonies and concertos for clarinet, cello, flute, bassoon, basset horn, violin, viola and different combinations of these instruments. His clarinet and viola concertos are particularly admired and are standard parts of today’s repertory.
Included below is a performance of his beloved Viola Concerto in D Major, performed by violist Cristina Cordero and accompanied by the Orquesta Filarmónica de La Mancha.