Paganini Sonata per la Grand Viola, Op. 35 MS 70

The Grand Viola Sonata (Op. 35, MS. 70) is a composition for viola and orchestra by Niccolo Paganini. It was finished and premiered at London in 1834.  This work stems from the interest Paganini showed in the viola. He comissioned luthier Francesco Borghi with the creation of a special five-string viola (now lost) for the execution of the Grand Viola Sonata. The instrument was known as controviola Paganini. The work itself is a virtuoso piece, featuring a soloist and accompanying orchestra. It consists of three sections: Introduction: Larghetto - Recitativo al gusto Cantabile: Andante sostenuto Theme and variations (theme, three var. and coda). The orchestration calls for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, fagot, two C horns, two C trumpets, three trombones, timpani, gran cassa, cymbals and strings. Paganini himself wrote a reduction for viola and guitar.