I have been playing the viola since 1968, with many years of interruption. However, about seven or so years ago I took it up again and played in a middle school talent show. as a teacher, plus once at a winter orchestra concert. I do not now have the classical skill to be taken seriously, but years ago I remembered playing Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. The one viola book that I absolutely 80% enjoy is Michael H. Hoffheimer’s Fiddling for Viola. (In that book, anything by Turlough O’Carolan is ironic and heroically great stuff. For who knows to what extent O’Carolan ever heard, let alone saw, a Brit or an Irish violist holding a temporary melody quite constant?)
Sometimes, when I play much violin music I have to do a double-take or double stop to get the fingering right. Oh yeah, whenever I play in the alto clef and then see music for it written down in the treble clef, mind you for a viola part, it almost freaks me out.
If truth be told, however, I do somehow manage to stay in first position whenever possible because I am still a mediocre, lazy violist hoping to get enough time to improve in technique and to carry over what I have learned in the violin back to the viola.
The viola is sometimes a pleasurable lead weight to lug around. For one sure thing, it has lots of bad, online jokes. Does anyone find these jokes at all funny? I do.
Finally, I like anything that resembles a melody in a good baroque violist’s canon or repertoire.