Composers for the viola d’amore

Most viola d’amore music is written by players of the instrument who understand its possibilities. These include well-known Bohemians, notably Stamitz and Benda. Biber wrote the magnificent Partita 7 for two violas d’amore and continuo. Other significant composers were Telemann, Ariosti, Graupner, Petzold, Rust and Toeschi. Milandre and Casadesus wrote music of charm, and later colours were brought by Hindemith and Frank Martin.

Gordon Tonson, who as a viola player is known as Maxwell Ward, tells imaginative stories with his music.

Edwin Roxburgh, not a viola d’amore player, constructed a chart of the instrument’s possibilities. His music uses soaring melodies and interesting note clusters.