Together with Johann Joachim Quantz (1697–1773), the brothers Carl Heinrich (1703/04–1759) and Johann Gottlieb Graun (1702/03–1771), and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714–1788), the violinist and composer Franz (František) Benda (1709–1786) counts among the most eminent musicians at the court of Frederic II (1712–1786). Benda is also considered to be one of the founders of a specifically north German school of violin playing. [...]
Benda composed almost exclusively instrumental music, and specifically works for violin. Approximately 15 symphonies, about 20 solo concertos (for violin or flute), more than 150 solo sonatas with basso continuo (for violin or flute, including one for viola ), a number of violin duets and trio sonatas, about 100 caprices for solo violin and a number of songs have survived; they were disseminated mainly in manuscript copies, but there is also a moderate number of contemporary prints. [...]
The version for viola, strings and basso continuo in C major published here for the first time is a contemporary arrangement of a solo concerto for violin or flute, LeeB 2.11, which was probably composed before 1763 and is mentioned three times in the Breitkopf catalogues. [...]
A contemporary arrangement of this kind preserved in Lower Austrian Melk, far from Berlin and Potsdam – and with separate embellishments and cadenzas for the first two movements arising from a southern German and Austrian performance tradition – is a unique finding in the 18th-century viola repertoire.
By the preface from Phillip Schmidt
Translated by Stephanie Wollny