JOHANNES BRAHMS Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 100
Composed between 1879 and 1888,
Brahms’s three sonatas for violin and piano are works of mature and
unostentatious mastery. In contrast to the Violin Concerto of 1878, the sonatas
are predominantly intimate and conversational in tone. The warmth and intimacy
of the A-Major Sonata reflect the composer’s close friendship and artistic
collaboration with violinist Joseph Joachim.
ROBERT SCHUMANN Violin Sonata No. 2 in D
Minor, Op. 121
Of the two violin sonatas that
Schumann composed in the fall of 1851, No. 2 in D Minor was the more popular
with contemporary audiences, probably because of its outgoing and frequently
virtuosic character. Like Brahms, Schumann was diffident about writing for the
violin and sought technical advice from Joachim and others. The sonata’s four
movements are a tour de force for both players.
MAURICE RAVEL Violin
Ravel’s bluesy Violin Sonata in G
Major, premiered in 1927, has long been a staple of the chamber repertoire.
Less well known is this single-movement Violin Sonata that the composer wrote
three decades earlier, as a 22-year-old on-again, off-again student at the
Paris Conservatoire. With its tender lyricism and adventurous harmonies, this
short, beguiling work is a harbinger of Ravel’s mature style.
OTTORINO RESPIGHI Violin
Sonata in B Minor
Respighi was still smarting from the
disappointing reception of Fountains of
Rome—the first of his symphonic poems and destined soon to be hugely
popular—when he wrote this bracingly virtuosic sonata in 1917. The two works
share a lyrical, richly textured late-Romantic idiom.