And now, it might be asked, should we pity the viola? It is after all consigned to an unglamorous middle range, and is ever on the receiving end of all that merciless skewering (if you don’t know what I mean, type “viola jokes” into Google, or ask anyone who has played in an orchestra).
Not so fast, was the essential message behind Friday’s ambitious Jordan Hall program, assembled and deftly performed by conductor Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Its title — “Voilà! Viola!” — played off the status of an instrument essentially hidden in plain sight, always present on the symphonic stage yet seldom given much time in the spotlight.