PHILIP JARNACH (1892-1982): Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 13, EDUARD ERDMANN (1896-1958): Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 12, ERWIN SCHULHOFF (1894-1942): Sonata for Solo Violin, PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 31/2.

Catalogue Number: 05X048

Label: Orfeo

Reference: C210051

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: After Reger revived the genre of unaccompanied violin sonata, which had largely gone unexplored since Bach's great works, various other composers of the late 19th and early 20th century were inspired to try their hand at the form. Reger's student Schulhoff wrote his in 1927. The breezy, highly virtuosic opening movement seems to radiate the optimism of the time, as the First World War and the Spanish 'Flu receded from memory and the horrors of the Nazis' emergence were as yet unanticipated. The slow movement has a melancholy, pained quality, though, as though recalling the composer’s experiences in WWI. The scherzo is dancelike, paying tribute to Baroque style, and the finale is based on Moravian folk material, sounding somewhat like a precursor to Janáček. Busoni pupil Jarnach (07J090, 02S010) was a composer of real quality, rather underappreciated nowadays. His sonata was written in 1922 in the wake of his studies with Busoni, and the rigorous intellectual development and a certain aloof, uncompromising quality of argument, combined with the unstable ambiguity of the tonal language testify to this. The first movement is intricately developed; the Prestissimo middle movement brackets a gentle, reflective, songlike central section between outer sections of coruscating virtuosity. The determined, decisive finale contains frank allusions to Bachian figuration. Erdmann, who was a friend of Jarnach, is primarily remembered as a pianist of great authority and a champion of contemporary music, with a keen interest in expressionism and dodecaphony. He did not adopt these methods in his own music, however, and this substantial 4-movement sonata is cast in a highly chromatic language with at best ambiguous tonal centres. The first movement is passionate and flowing; the scherzo is playful but technically demanding, with a simple folk-like trio. A brief, but serious and reflective, slow movement precedes the lively finale, marked “with esprit and dexterity” in angular, leaping phrases, leading to a triumphant conclusion. Baiba Skride (violin).


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