Herschel : Symphonia nr. 21 in B minor : Viola
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Composer: William Herschel (1738 - 1822)
Allegro Assai - Andantino - Presto
Herschel completed this symphony on 30th May, 1763 in Leeds.
Alternative horn parts are provided both for horns in D (Herschel's specification) and for horns in F.
Herschel's symphonies remained unpublished in his lifetime and were therefore rendered only under his personal direction, and only by the forces available to him. In the relevant period (during his employments in Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire) his pools of available players were at comparatively small town music associations, with a small military band, and at a house party with royal guests. On Aug. 18th, 1761 he wrote from one of his more important engagements, in Newcastle, that "I have the direction of the music, and we make up a fairly good band of about 16 persons". This number would seem slightly larger than the forces he could generally muster, and consequently it would seem that he had, at best, only about a dozen string players at any rendition. The varying numbers of wind (and percussion) players prescribed for the different symphonies are an accurate indication of the supplementary forces available to him at any given composition's date.
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