Tuned the same as a viola, this is the instrument that will most likely shake up musicians, since its size takes the instrument from under the chin to a cello position.
Yoyo Ma recorded Bartok’s concerto for viola on it. An outstanding performance for which he was awarded a Grammy.
The greatest difficulty with the alto is that it puts the viola player at a distinct disadvantage by taking the viola from under his chin and setting it on a peg, cello fashion on the floor.
The greatest advantage is the increase in power and overall tone quality.
Leopold Stokowski’s comment: “That is the sound I have always wanted from the violas in my orchestra. No viola has ever sounded like that before. It fills the whole hall.”