What are your favorite violin sonatas?Repertoire: Which sonatas do you love?
From Madeline G
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!
From Stephen BrivatiGreetings,
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 06:11 AM
I can`t choose one. I think the handel sonatas have become prgressively undervalued over the years as more and more young people are able to access them but fail to do them justice because they are just considered annoying milestones en route to Symphony Esopagnol (1st movement) and the Bruch. But Auer was right in saying that any violinst worth their salt should ahve two or three of thes ein their regular repertoire. Inetresitng that Milstein played the A majopr in his last recital. The D major is the biggie for me.
The Vienna period Mozart sonatas contain some incredibly complex and esoteric experiments that can be really shocking even to modern ears.Try the one that starts with load sof single note triplets- f major I think. Some very scary fugues.
The Schubert sonatinas are actually soantas and I consider them utterly wodnerful, especially the d major.
Of the Beetjoven no7 seems unjustly neglected to me and a complete masterpiece. very subtle.
Tartini`s -other- sonata (dido abandothingummyjig) is a gorgeous piec eas long a sone omits the crappy arrangement of another work that is often assumed to be the third movement and clean up the atrocious piano parts in the shoddy editions available.
The Schumann sonatas are real fun to play and then one of my favotite ones for just goign for broke is the Elgar. The second movement of this requires a huge range of delictae colors to make interesting. A very good challenge for anyone.
Franck and debussy will always be beloved of course.
From Madeline GHello!
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 07:12 AM
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!
From Mendy SmithIt's not a violin Sonata, but a viola one that I've been working on .... the Rebecca Clarke. A very interesting piece that I'm still trying to understand better.
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 08:01 AM
From Emily GrossmanI just got done practicing the Schubert D this evening. Love it, can't stop playing it.
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 08:44 AM
From Eitan Silkoffysaye and brahms
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 10:49 AM
From Marina FragoulisVivaldi wrote wonderful sonatas.
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 12:28 PM
From Friedrich SprondelBrahms 1 will always be first. Then the six Bach sonatas (with Cembalo), then Franck, after that Brahms 3 and 2.
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 12:25 PM
And I do have a soft spot for the Elgar. It should be played, and studied, more often.
From Friedrich Sprondel» It's not a violin Sonata, but a viola one that I've been working on .... the Rebecca Clarke. A very interesting piece that I'm still trying to understand better.
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 12:30 PM
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.
From Kenny ChoyStrauss and Elgar.
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 02:38 PM
From kimberlee dYsaye
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 03:31 PM
From Mitchell PressmanWalton, Bartok #1, Janacek, Prokofiev #1
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 03:04 PM
From Carolyn OhlbaumI love the Franck sonata!
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 03:46 PM
From Nigel KeayStravinsky's Duo Concertante and Ravel's Sonata count among my favourites...
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 04:00 PM
From Tobias SeybBrahms G-major and d-minor. But they are still out of reach for me, it´s a long term goal for me to play them.
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 06:28 PM
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.)
From Christopher BurndrettSince it hasn't been mentioned yet, I like the Grieg Sonatas (particularly the infrequently performed G Major.)
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 07:31 PM
From Julia SI love sonatas! I'm playing the Franck right now, which is one of my favorites. Other ones I love are the Prokofiev, Brahms, Janacek, Beethoven, Ysaye, and Saint-Saens. There are probably more I am not naming...
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 07:52 PM
From Antonello LofùBrahms #3 especially the transition from 1st movement and the second one.
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 07:58 PM
From Madeline GI love the Ysaye Ballade - it's a little overplayed, but it's so exciting when it's played well! :D
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 11:03 PM
From Hope PaolottoBrahms!!
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 11:04 PM
From Jay AzneerBeethoven #10
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 11:11 PM
From Christopher CiampoliI second the Grieg Sonatas...on youtube someone uploaded a recording of Kreisler and Rachmaninov playing the third sonata...it's out of this world
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 11:22 PM
I cry most times I listen to it and I don't think anythign else affects me like that
From Jennifer DunnI love LeClair's sonata in D major, Mozart's Sonata No. 10 (I think) in B flat, and one in D major (am not looking up numbers at the moment) Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata, all of the Brahms, The Franck, Ravel, Debussy, Prokofiev in D major, Copeland...
Posted on May 2, 2008 at 11:27 PM
Also love the Bach Sonatas and Partitas, particularly D minor and A minor. I'm missing a lot I am sure--I love the Sonata repertoire in general.
From Adam CliffordI love Bach's Third Partita. Although it is technically not a sonata, it is still gorgeous and allows plenty of room for self-expression!
Posted on May 3, 2008 at 04:47 AM
From Jon O'BrienAll the Beethoven are my favorite, especially G maj (No.3?), Spring, Kreutzer, and No.10 (not Downing St; the one with the famous 8 bar piano intro in the slow mvnt). Also Brahms of course.
Posted on May 3, 2008 at 05:03 AM
From Phil HoughtonBusoni No.2, Delius No.3, Howells No.2, Ives No.3, Milhaud No.2, as well as many already mentioned!
Posted on May 3, 2008 at 07:45 AM
From carlos majlisAs a rarities collector, I recommend violin
Posted on May 3, 2008 at 02:03 PM
Sir Hubert Parry
Saint-Saëns first (Heifetz!!!)
Karen Khatchaturian op.1
There are dozens more,of course.
From Mike HarrisPrrokofiev #2 (D), Debussy, Beethoven #7 (and others), Brahms #1, Bach unaccompanied Gmin, Dmin, E, Mozart G K.301, Schubert D.
Posted on May 3, 2008 at 03:22 PM
From Ruth KueflerAh, I love the sonata repertoire! Here are some especial favorites:
Posted on May 4, 2008 at 12:38 AM
Brahms (especially the G Major)
From Bill BusenSaint-Saens First (last mvt!)
Posted on May 4, 2008 at 03:22 AM
Kreutzer (variations mvt!)
Brahms G major (1st mvt!)
Two of those I used to play the piano part to...
From Ralph Becker-Szendy(note: I play the piano)
Posted on May 4, 2008 at 04:23 AM
Brahms - all 3 of them
Beethoven - Kreutzer (although it is rare to find an amateur violinist who is up for it)
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.
From George PhilipsIn no particular order:
Posted on May 4, 2008 at 04:45 AM
From Alan WittertThe Frank Sinatra.
Posted on May 4, 2008 at 04:58 AM
From Ruth KueflerOh yes, I totally forgot the Ravel! Love that sonata. The Schubert "Arpeggione" is also lovely.
Posted on May 4, 2008 at 01:39 PM
From Neil CameronThis one? :)
Posted on May 4, 2008 at 05:13 PM
From Laurie TrlakI am currently learning the Handel D Major Sonata (after having learned the F Major), and I think these sonatas are wonderful in their complexity. I confess, the chords in some of them are a little scary (although they're not as tough as unaccompanied Bach, I guess), but I'm looking forward to learning all of them. I really love these pieces. Of course, I may change my mind once I have learned other sonatas! :-)
Posted on May 5, 2008 at 12:29 AM
From Anne HorvathMy favorite sonatas for violin AND piano, or piano AND violin, are currently:
Posted on May 5, 2008 at 12:38 AM
Faure A Major
List subject to change with future mood swings. I also agree about the Kreisler/Rachmaninoff recordings of the sonata literature. Divine stuff.
From Emily VoldMy favorites would have to be the Franck, the Debussy, Grieg No. 1, and the Brahms G Major. OH, and the Bach sonatas, of course.
Posted on May 6, 2008 at 04:02 AM
From Ronald MutchnikIn the realm of wonderful sonatas by British composers, I've enjoyed the Walton Sonata and Edmund Rubbra's Second Sonata, written as a gift to his violinist wife. As for American sonatas, Charles Ives No. 2 was also fun to learn with its barn dance fast movement and a wonderful hymn-like final movement.
Posted on May 6, 2008 at 04:15 AM
A nice challenge with its perpetual motion final movement is Saint Saens First Sonata.
From Yixi ZhangJust finished Mozart G K.301. Absolutely love it! I'm working on Schubert D right now and like Emily, I can't stop playing it either:)
Posted on June 1, 2008 at 07:20 AM
From Mara GeretyI adore all of the Brahms, Bach and Ysaye sonatas, but I think my favorite is Janacek. There's something so marvelous about that piece I could listen to it every day for the rest of my life and on the day I die I would still be speechless with awe at Janacek's genius.
Posted on June 1, 2008 at 02:45 AM
From Bart MeijerMay that day be far off, Mara!
Posted on June 1, 2008 at 05:03 AM
From Ruth KueflerThe Dvorak Sonatina in G Major is also really charming.
Posted on June 1, 2008 at 05:23 AM
From Jessie VallejoHmmm...I LOVE chamber music, concert pieces, and sonatas (quite a bit more than concertos, actually)!!!
Posted on June 1, 2008 at 11:45 PM
Some of my favorites are:
Franck Sonata in A
From Nancy ForemanHe's not very popular these days, but I love Corelli.
Posted on June 2, 2008 at 01:50 AM
From carlos majlisA really beautiful sonata nearly nobody
Posted on June 2, 2008 at 12:46 PM
plays and very few know is Busoni's No.2.
Kavakos had a splendid recording.
From Dottie CaseMy 17 yr. old daughter and I (both players) were reading this list and she wants me to chime in and add the Brahms Sonatensatz (Scherzo, Op. Posth.). She is working on it now, and it's wicked cool. One part Beethoven and one part Debussy, in my opinion.
Posted on June 2, 2008 at 05:59 PM
From Jessie VallejoDottie...
Posted on June 4, 2008 at 02:39 AM
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. :)
From Corey WashbourneMy favourite: Mozart sonata for violin and piano in E minor. I couldn't possibly play it yet, that's a long way away for me ;p
Posted on June 5, 2008 at 05:11 AM
I like the sonata I'm working on at the moment: Vivaldi sonata no. 5 in B minor from his Op. 2 Twelve Sonatas.
From Terez Mertes>I love the Ysaye Ballade - it's a little overplayed, but it's so exciting when it's played well!
Posted on June 5, 2008 at 04:46 PM
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...)
From Hannah Wrightwow, i have not heard of most of these...
Posted on June 5, 2008 at 05:12 PM
time to youtube it!
From Tom HolzmanAll the sonatas picked out so far are great. In addition to those, I particularly love Bach's sonatas for violin and continuo. Mozart K.304 is also a favorite.
Posted on June 5, 2008 at 06:23 PM
From Jay AzneerWhen I first answered I only mentioned the Beethoven 10 but I also love the Brahms Gmajor, the Faure A major, Ysaye Ballade--the greatest ending qua ending of anything I know. I'm also very fond of the Schubert Opus 137 Sonatas as well as the Prokofiev flute sonata opus 100?? which was rewritten for Oistrakh. NOt as extensive as some lists, but it's where my loves lie.
Posted on June 5, 2008 at 07:34 PM
From carlos majlisI hope some of you have courage and
Posted on June 5, 2008 at 08:26 PM
imagination to investigate works not in
the "repertory", as the sonatas of RVW,
Nielsen, Goldmark,Leo Weiner,Medtner,
Khatchaturian (Aram or Karen), Taneyev.
Joseph Wieniawsky and so many others.
From Stephen BrivatiGreetings,
Posted on June 5, 2008 at 10:45 PM
give me a break Carlos. I play the Nielsen. But you need a fat piano player;)
From George Carrard
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 06:52 AM
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.
From Bart Meijer
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 07:13 AM
Does anyone know the Turina ("Spanish") sonata? How is it?
Edit: it's on Youtube.
From Lisa Fogler
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 08:19 AM
Being a simple violinist I like simplicity, especially that of The Spring Sonata :o)
From elise stanley
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 08:53 AM
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..
From Marshall Read
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 11:38 AM
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
From Marc Villeneuve
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 01:24 PM
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...
From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 05:44 PM
Also Frank, Brahms no 3, Leclair (very lively) also Kreutzer
From elise stanley
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 06:36 PM
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?]
From Charles Yoh
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 10:10 PM
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.
From Marc Villeneuve
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 11:18 PM
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...
From Janis Cortese
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 11:18 PM
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.
From Michael Pijoan
Posted on August 8, 2010 at 03:49 AM
Ravel. It's all about the seductive second movement dripping sugary sweetness and mischief.
From Ronald Mutchnik
Posted on August 8, 2010 at 03:58 AM
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!
From elise stanley
Posted on August 9, 2010 at 09:10 AM
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
From Lena Sverkersson
Posted on August 9, 2010 at 09:49 AM
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.
From Mike Harris
Posted on August 11, 2010 at 12:58 AM
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).
From Hendrik Hak
Posted on August 11, 2010 at 03:38 AM
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.
From John Cadd
Posted on August 11, 2010 at 11:06 PM
Does anybody know much about the Reger Sonatas ? I knew the name but only heard any played this week.They sound very attractive . I was expecting atonal noises. Not a lot on u tube for Reger.
From leo saputrafor me, there are bethoven spring sonata & mozart violin sonata kv.301. both sound so warm and beautiful.thx.
Posted on August 12, 2010 at 04:30 AM
Our interview with Joshua Bell is one of more than two dozen in The Violinist.com Interviews: Volume 1, which also features talks with Sarah Chang, Maxim Vengerov, and David Garrett, as well as a foreword by Hilary Hahn.
Please consider supporting Violinist.com by becoming a sponsor, and reaching our dedicated community of violin professionals, students and fans!