From Madeline G
Posted May 2, 2008 at 05:47 AM
What is your favorite violin sonata, and why? :)
Violin sonatas are kind of the undervalued part of our repertoire. They're chamber music, not concertos, and I think this can be somewhat off-putting.
I've been listening to a lot of sonatas lately, and I really love the Debussy. I like all three Brahms sonatas, as well.
The Debussy has those wonderful open harmonies that he is known for, and it straddles the line between Romantic and modern music. :D
I'd love to hear about your favorite sonatas, so please feel free to share!
Yes, I played a few of the Handel sonatas (I can't remember which ones, though...maybe E Major?). :)
I haven't done any Mozart sonatas, so I'll definitely look into those.
I played the Schubert D Major Sonatina for a chamber performance this past summer! It's an adorable piece, and it's so short and cute. :D
I agree - it's hard to pick just one favorite sonata!
Thanks for responding!
And I do have a soft spot for the Elgar. It should be played, and studied, more often.
That is a wonderful piece, and most rewarding for the listener. I didn't know it until last week, when I heard it in a viola recital by Julia Neher, the future solo violist of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. Great music, full of passion and wit.
Definitely deserves a "honoris causa" nomination here.
Lately I discovered the Fauré Sonata in A major and immediately fell in love with it. It's very passionate and colorful, and it's not so difficult to play, so this is my next piece that I will study.
I love the sonate posthume by ravel too, it's a lesser known piece, but very beautiful. Sadly my sheet music (is this the correct expression?) has gotten lost (you should always make a note when giving sth. to so.)
I cry most times I listen to it and I don't think anythign else affects me like that
Brahms (especially the G Major)
Prokofiev Solo Sonata
Mozart K301 (G Major) and K304 (e minor)
Two of those I used to play the piano part to...
For warmup exercises: Beethoven Spring, or Dvorak Sonatina.
I've done Debussy and one of Grieg's (don't remember which one), and for some reason they don't titilate me.
It may sound sacrilegious: all other Beethoven Sonatas and all of Mozart is boring. Which doesn't mean that I don't end up playing them often: As duo partners that can handle the romantic repertoire are rare, I end up playing more of the classical stuff instead.
The absolute most fun I can have with a violinist (with the clothes on) is actually not a sonata: Ravel's Tzigane. There have only been two violinists I've played with who were willing to take that on.
In the department of piano duos (which is of great relevance to me, and probably totally irrelevant to violinists): The two Rachmaninoff Suites, and the Saint-Saens variations on a theme by Beethoven.
Handel D major
LeClair D major
Brahms A major (why don't more people enjoy this piece?)
Schumann A minor
Faure A Major
Brahms G Major
Schubert D 385
Beethoven # 8 and # 9
Mozart K 304
Bartok # 1 and # 2
List subject to change with future mood swings. I also agree about the Kreisler/Rachmaninoff recordings of the sonata literature. Divine stuff.
Some of my favorites are:
Franck Sonata in A
William Bolcom's Stramba sonata (especially the 4th movement).
Prokofiev 5 melodies (maybe it's not exactly a sonata, but I absolutely love these pieces)
Bloch's Baal Shem
You said wicked cool.
I say wicked cool. I was made fun of by everyone at college from downstate BECAUSE I said wicked cool.
I think wicked is a great slang term to use in that way. :)
I like the sonata I'm working on at the moment: Vivaldi sonata no. 5 in B minor from his Op. 2 Twelve Sonatas.
Oh, I just love this too (as a listener only). I found a great CD of Chopin transcriptions, called something like Saint-Saens, Ysaye: Rare Transcriptions for Violin and Piano. It includes the Ballade and also a FABULOUS transcription of Chopin's Waltz in E. The most perfect melding of piano and violin music I've ever heard. (I'm a big fan of Chopin.)
And Anne H and Tobias - good call on the Fauré in A major - I've recently fallen in love with that as well. Just LOVE listening to that first movement. I like the Debussy and Saint-Saens sonata works as well; I pretty much like every French sonata recording I've ever heard. Oddly, for being such a big fan of Brahms, I haven't gone wild over his sonatas, although I do enjoy listening to them. I sense it's a matter of time and then one will finally speak to me and not let me go and I will be in love and forced to blog about its hold over me. (Piece that currently has this kind of hold over me that I listened to for a full year before falling smitten: Dvorak's Romance in F Minor. Sigh...)
Beethoven No10 Op96 is the best of all the Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin or for violin and piano. All the others are strident, dramatic, No10 has everything - resignation and fantasy are missing from the others I think.
The three great French sonatas Faure, Franck No1, Saent Saens No1
Brahms Nos 1 and 3.
I'm looking for sonatas to play. Thanks for the other postings.
Does anyone know the Turina ("Spanish") sonata? How is it?
Edit: it's on Youtube.
Being a simple violinist I like simplicity, especially that of The Spring Sonata :o)
what a wonderful topic - and wealth of info and suggestions. I just looked up th schubert sonatina - the music is on IMSLP (just google, fastest way there as long as you include the composer, opus and 'sheet music') and it looks quite doable. There is also a lovely recording on youtube
I might do this as a study next week, doesn't look too hard..
Brahms all the way but what about the Beethoven Sonatas for violin and piano.
My favourite one is 'Spring Sonata' No.5 it's in F major
Bach: all partitas and sonatas
Bartok solo violon sonata They are the best ever written and masterpieces...... does not mean I do not like Fauré,Ravel and Debussy and Franck and so many others...
Also Frank, Brahms no 3, Leclair (very lively) also Kreutzer
Beethoven romance in G
(and best study for double stops I've found yet - they are so gorgeous you can't stop playing them)
[and am I the only person that doesn't really like the Spring sonata? its pretty and I can play through the first movement at least pretty well but just don't find it engaging... whats wrong with me music doc?]
I love the Poulenc Violin Sonata. He dedicated it to Ginette Neveu, the French violinist who was tragically killed in a plane crash. There is everything you would want in a violin sonata. The melodies in the 1st and 2nd movements are soaring and beautiful. I love the contrast between the opening melody and the second subject in the 1st movement. In the second movement, the violin just floats over the piano and the sound is just ethereal. The last movement simply put is tragic. I have Midori's rendition on CD and I highly recommend it.
The original score is at the Boston library and you can see all the annotations of Ginette Neveu... Poulenc changed the sonata after the tragic death of Neveu to make it sound like "Icare" who brokes his wings,according to the legend, and killed himself, refering toNeveu's abrupt ending...
Not violin, but Glinka's Viola+Piano in Dm is one of the most fantastic things I've ever heard. If I can EVER play that, I'll be in heaven.
Ravel. It's all about the seductive second movement dripping sugary sweetness and mischief.
I'm not sure I'd characterize all the other Beethoven Sonatas, except no. 10, as "strident". The Spring Sonata does not seem strident to me. But anyway, my favorite French sonatas are Faure No. 1, Franck, and Debussy. Of the standard German/Austrian repertoire, I like especially Mozart Sonata in B-flat,K, 378, and the E-flat, Sonata, K. 481 and the great Tempo di Menuetto from the E minor sonata, K. 304. Beethoven Sonatas 5,6, 9, & 10; and the 3 Brahms sonatas, and Schubert's Sonatina in D ( the duo) and the larger a major sonata and the Arpeggione sonata. I also think the Allegretto tranquillo movement of the second Grieg Sonata in particularly is quite beautiful and the 3rd Grieg Sonata in C minor. Of the Baroque repertoire, I especially like the first three Bach Sonatas- there's an amazing canon in the second one, and there will always be a place in my heart for the Larghetto of the D major sonata and the opening movement of the A major Sonata. As for twentieth century sonatas, there's Prokofiev # 2 ( the one also for flute and the William Walton Sonata and Edmund Rubbra's second sonata, a work deserving many more performances and hearings than it has had. )Well this list is getting long- there are so many wonderful sonatas- it's hard to narrow it down!
Wow Ronald, thats quite a list, perhaps you could put them in a blog and tell us what the attractions are of each?
Each time I read a reply here I think I downloaded the score from IMLSP - to the point where my computer is in danger of overflowing :D
I think one must be very in love in order to play or appreciate Brahms A major sonata well, therefore few people like it as much as they like G major or D minor.
My top sonatas:
1. Brahms violin sonata in A major,
2. Brahms violin sonata D minor,
3. Beethoven' Kreutzer sonata,
4. Franck violin sonata in A major.
Okay, I know I replied to this thread previously, but it's been two years so I think it's okay.
I've got to put in another plug for the Prokofiev #2--it seems otherwise unnoticed here. Listen to Kogan or Oistrakh play it if you get the chance. It is an extraordinary piece of music and I think it is one of the greatest sonatas played on the violin (it was written originally for the flute).
Zoltan Kodaly wrote a beautiful Adagio for viola and piano , which he himself also transcribed for violin or cello. It is in CM ; available from editio musica budapest 1972
There is a Mendelsohn violin/piano sonata, a later work, quite gorgeous.
JS Bach - F minor (not sure what number). The pathos in that first movement! (Listen to Oistrakh play it - used to be on Youtube).
Handel - F major
Beethoven Op96 - more than a hint of 'late Beethoven here
Beethoven Op 10 No 3 (E-flat). [Edit- I actually meant OP12 no 3 but the typo prompted some interesting discussion....] The breadth of the first movement, and that wonderful modulation into C-flat (and the key) always make me thing of 'second period' Beethoven and the Eroica particularly.
Brahms G major - no comment needed
Dvorak in F (the sonata, not the sonatina) Mainly for the last movement which I find irresistible
Bach - all of them
Ysaye - 2 and 6 - way beyond my technique but I enjoy listening to them
To be investigated:
Mozart - I know some of them, but not well
Handel - I haven't played/listened to these since my student days.
Handel A major / D major
Bach accompanied sonata no1
Tartini Devil`s Trill
Schubert Sonatina in D (really a sonata)
Mozart E minor.
Ravel sonata OR Debussy
Very traditional but about all I can cope with.
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