Classical musicians seem so staid and stuffy, but there's a lot of weirdness buzzing around behind their conservative façades. They think about strange topics, such as serial composition, and exactly how long it takes for a bow to stroke a string before a note sounds, and what the hell sort of music you can write for the viola. Granted, perhaps only Christian Woehr, the assistant principal violist for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, cogitates on viola repertoire, but he's doing yeoman's work on the subject. The viola may lack both the prestige and the solo compositions of the violin, but it is beloved by some regardless (guilty). It is these brilliant, lonely people who should pay $10 and attend Violas, An Hysterical Perspective tonight at 7 p.m. at the Sheldon (3648 Washington Boulevard; www.thesheldon.org or 314-533-9900). Woehr and some sympathizers from the SLSO record a live CD of viola-centric music composed by Woehr and provide commentary on the history and reputation of the violist and viola. Please applaud appropriately.
Tue., Sept. 2, 2008