John Donald Robb Concerto for Viola and Orchestra

Program Notes

Robb's orchestral music has been performed by many major orchestras, including the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Utah Symphony Orchestra, and under the batons of conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Maurice Abravanel.

Written in 1953, John Donald Robb's colorful Viola Concerto, Opus 24, is also in three movements: Danza; Alabanza and Indita. Each movement employs themes derived from Mexican folk music with notable emphasis on orchestral color, rhythm and solo virtuosity. Alabanza means spirit and may also refer to a commendation for bravery or service. Most interestingly, Indita is a musical from unique to northern New Mexico and refers to folk music of the 17th and early 18th centuries. It literally means "little Indian piece: and is a merging of Spanish folk songs and Native American musical influences. Inditas are usually sung in Spanish with Native American drumming accompaniment. Their subject matter can re religious or cultural, or often about the love of the land. Inditas were also used as a way to deliver news. The Viola Concerto, dedicated to Ferenc and Maria Molnar, has been performed a number of times in the United States and South America.

At the behest of the John D. Robb Musical Trust, John J. Mitchell edited the musical scores of both Robb's Viola Concerto and the Symphony for Strings.

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