Annotated Catalogue of the Viola and Chamber Works with Viola of Joseph Baber
Op. 1 Three Duos for Violin and Viola
№1 in G Allegro moderato (1949 — first draft)
№2 in C minor (March 1955); Waltz (1953); Hornpipe (1951)
№3 in G minor: Andante; Allegro; Andante; Allegro Molto
(1953–54 — first draft, sonata da chiesa stuffy for Powell, edited for concerts with Kazu-e Baber in 1967–68)
Op. 8 Serenades
№1 Serenade for String Trio (1954–56) Allegro; Waltz; Romanza; Scherzo; Rondo (revision completed in 2012) Written for high school string trio that played PTA and school board receptions, Red Cross conferences, etc.
Op.14 Miscellaneous Music; Incidental Music (Michigan) (1959–62)
№8 Suite for Viola and Harp (1962, revisions in 2013 and 2015)
№9 Sonata for Viola and Piano №1 in C minor (1960–61) Premiere Spring 1961 on MSU contemporary music program
№2 Sonata for Viola and Piano №2 in D Major (Spring 1962) Premiered with Baber and Rita Fusek. Middle of Mvt. 3 Rondo is a portrait of Gomer Jones
Op.21 16 Viola Duos (1963, revision completed in 2013)
Op.22 Rhapsody for Viola and Orchestra (1964)
Op.24 Trio for Violin, Viola and Violoncello (1961; 1963; 1964)(1st Mvt. sketched on the road in Europe in the Summer 1962, continued through Spring 1963) Premiere in Spring 1964
Op.25 Trio for Oboe, Viola and Piano (Fall 1965-early 1966, Japan) Premiere in Tulsa, Spring 1966, Published by M.M. Cole, Chicago
Op.26 Concerto №1 for Viola and String Orchestra (1965, sketched in entirety for Tokyo Solisten 1966, edited for performance in 1980s) The exact date is November 10, 1986 at Kent State University by the Warren Chamber Orchestra, Marcia Ferritto violist.
Op.28 Concerto №2 for Viola and Orchestra (1967)(written and premiered Spring 1967)
Op.31 Miscellaneous Music (Illinois 1967–1970)
№4 Scherzo for Viola and Piano (written for inclusion in the Sonata Op.14, №7 for the ISMTA Contest Requirement and subsequent performance at the Chicago convention)Scherzo, Op. 31, №4 was first performed as an inserted third movement to the first sonata at the Illinois State Music Teachers Association Convention in Chicago November 2, 1970, Joseph Baber, viola/Robert Mueller, Piano in the Roosevelt Room of the Hilton Hotel in Chicago
№5 Sonata da Chiesa for Viola and Harpsichord was written in the Fall of 1968 for Wesley Morgan, a musicologist at Southern Illinois University. (He’s the one who later became Chairman of the UK Music Department and brought me to Lexington.) We played it informally, once at a dinner party at his home, and once for one of his classes at the University.
The first public performance was at a Luncheon for a meeting of the American Guild of Organists at the SIU University Center, Carbondale, Illinois, November 9, 1968.
№9 Suite №1 for Viola and Piano (year)The pianist for Suite Number 1 was Wesley Morgan (later the Director of the School of Music at UK)Suite №1 was performed at Various Professional Clubs (Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.) in Carbondale Illinois, Spring of 1969.
Op. 32 Divertimentos
№1 for Viola and Piano (1968) (‘Frankenstein’)
Op.35 Works for the Kansas Co-operative Composers Project
№7 Suite №2 for Viola and Piano -Suite №2, Op. 35, №7 was written in the fall of 1970 in Emporia Kansas and played for various Professional Clubs and Public School concerts in the Fall of 1970 and the Spring of 1971. Joseph Baber, Viola and David Yeomans, Piano
Lubitza Braikova Programs and Program Notes of Recital Repertoire at the U of K
05/03/2009-Viola Recital-Bach, Beethoven, Hindemith-Der Schwanendreher Viola Concerto
02/07/2010-Viola Recital-Rontgen-Viola Sonata, Vaughan-Williams, Rebecca Clarke
03/08/2010-Chamber music recital- Mozart-K456-Macauley Chamber Music Competition Winners
05/02/2010-Viola Recital- Amram, Vardi, Prokofiev, Lutoslawski
05/07/2010- Chamber Music Recital-Brahms-String Quartet in a minor
12/09/2011-Chamber Music Recital- Beethoven-№15, op. 132 in a minor
03/02/2011- Viola Recital-Vieuxtemps, Penderecki, Bartok Viola Concerto
09/23/2012- Chamber Music Recital-Brahms-piano trio in a minor
10/29/15-Viola Recital-O’Fallon Viola Concerto
02/18/2017-Viola Lecture-Recital-Marin Goleminov Viola Concerto
Viola Recital-Joseph Baber- Sonata №2 for Viola and Piano, op. 1,5, №2; Suite №2 for Viola and Piano- op. 35, №7; Schostakovich Viola Sonata
The musical style of Joseph Baber exhibits influences from aspects in American folk-song, nineteenth-century Romantic symphonic literature, hymns, as well as cinematic and African-American/jazz music. In his academic compositions, techniques emphasizing chromatic and linear work are often foregrounded. At the same time, Baber continues to compose more plainly tonal work derived largely from a lively if well-informed imagination. At points, aspects of both strategies merge as a matter of mature insight; undue, sensational, or “genericizing” late-modernisms are kept at bay. The dark or doubt that might arguably visit some [late] Modern moves on his part are largely relegated to the occasional — perhaps as “in the harmony of part and whole that exist in the work of art, the difference between essence and appearance is, in a certain sense, overcome. This is the basis of perfection of the work of art.”Many of Baber’s works are pleasingly difficult to place squarely in given categories of style. He is not prone to “settle,” furthermore, allowing unresolved or insufficiently personal work to “just go as it is” (even given typical time restraints). When a work is commissioned, Baber edits and re-edits to achieve a quality of conviction often heeded to great effect.