Three Romances for Viola & Piano, Op.69
Kiel's Three Romances for Viola and Piano date from 1870. Each presents a fine contrast with the others. But despite this contrast there is a subtle relationship between the three which clearly shows that they are a similar cloth making one work rather than three separate pieces. The first, Andante con moto, begins with a broad but restrained melody while the middle part is more passionate. The middle piece, Allegretto semplice, is more buoyant and upbeat while the finale, Allegro con passione, is more dramatic and charged with feeling.
Kiel (1821-1885) was something of a prodigy, he played the piano almost without instruction at the age of six. He was equally as talented on the violin, and by his thirteenth year he had composed much music. Kiel eventually had the opportunity to study in Berlin with the renowned theorist and teacher Siefried Dehn. In Berlin, he became sought after as a teacher and obtained a professorship at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, one of the finest music schools in Germany. Among his many students were Noskowski, Paderewski and Stanford.