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'Five Sketches' for viola solo was commissioned by Nicholas Logie and first performed by him on 31 May 1984 at the Wigmore Hall.

Quoting Maconchy: "I have always had a particular affection for the viola with its dark tone-colour and its unlimited expressive range.
I have tried in these pieces to explore that range and to make them well varied in rhythm and content.
The note E which the work begins and ends serves as a sort of “point d’appui” all through."