December 6, 2008 at 06:13 AM ·

Rare violin sonatas by improbable composers:

Furtwangler (extremely long,heavy and boring v.and p.sonata)

Bruno Walter

Edouard Lalo

Josef Wieniawsky (Henryk brother, a pianist. Too long and boring)

Robert Casadesus

Schnabel (a very long, dissonant and extremely difficult solo violin sonata)

Sergey Taneyev

Alberic Magnard (very long and beautiful v.and p.son. Nobody plays it.)

Leo Weiner (2 beautiful v.and p.sonatas almost nobody knows)




..to be continued..

Replies (24)

December 8, 2008 at 01:33 AM ·


I don`t know if the Nielsen is that rare.  I play themand they are easy to buy in Japan. I don`t think they will every really catch on because the scoring is so dense in the pinao part.  Sort of a mix of wagner and Brahms.... But definitley worth a look.



December 8, 2008 at 02:48 AM ·

Delius wrote several that are surprisingly good-- and not much heard.

December 8, 2008 at 10:31 AM ·


Ravel posthume - Mednter 1 and 2 - Saint-Saëns No.2 - Theodore Gouvy - Alf Hurum- Joseph Guy Ropartz - Auric - Poulenc - Pierne - de Castillon - Pizzetti - Respighi - Moeran -Joseph Foerster....

December 8, 2008 at 01:43 PM ·

Laurence Kayaleh recorded Medtner sonatas 1,2,& 3 along with Paul Stewart. I had the chance to see her perform this in Parry Sound this summer

She plays on a Guarnerius that used to belong to Carl Flesch.





December 8, 2008 at 05:00 PM ·

Grieg, Sans Sans, Strauss (fantastic Kyung Wa Chung recording).

And many fine barroque sonatas too.


December 8, 2008 at 05:35 PM ·

I like the Lalo a lot...also Sibley has one posted by Armand Marsick which is very good.  Tons of great sonatas out there.   The Vieuxtemps Grand Sonata is also pretty good but is without a good recording...I know of one that is not very good and does not do the piece justice.  Misha Keylin will take care of this with him recording the complete works of Vieuxtemps over the coming years!


December 8, 2008 at 06:34 PM ·

You mean John Snow recording?. He´s a mediocre violinist and turn the piece on a boring one.

About Vieuxtemps, I've never heard anything so exciting and cheerful as Perlman's recording of

his fantastic Burlesque Variations on "Yankee Doodle", IMHO one of the best he ever did !

December 8, 2008 at 08:00 PM ·

hehe, that's a great fun piece that served its purpose in keeping his American audiences awake (still does too) along with the op.33. (speaking of rarities) Vieuxtemps wrote many many great pieces, his collaboration pieces with Rubinstein, Wolff, Erkel, Gregoir, Kullak, Magnus, and Servais are top-notch.

December 8, 2008 at 09:27 PM ·

There's another aspect of Vieuxtemps that few know, and are his wonderful viola works. IMO.,

some of the best romantic pieces for the viola of the 19th.century, as good or better than the

violin ones. Too bad he didn't write a viola concerto!

December 8, 2008 at 10:52 PM ·

Roberto Diaz certainly reinforces your opinion with his excellent album.

December 8, 2008 at 10:52 PM ·


Milstein used to play the Medtner quite a lot.



December 9, 2008 at 04:10 AM ·

Check out the sonatas by Charles Villiers Stanford.  They are quite charming.  Hyperion has produced a cd  of Sonata 1 and 2.

December 9, 2008 at 04:43 AM ·

On an old Crossroads LP I have Jan Hugo Vorisek's Sonata in G, Op. 5 (violin & piano), which I liked so much that I went out and bought the music.  He was Czech, early Classical (died in 1825 at age 34), not a great sonata but tuneful and ambitious (27") and has its dramatic moments, especially the last movement (which is in g minor).  It will probably be hard to find either a recording or the music now.  (Crossroads was a budget label which offered a lot of good Supraphon imports cheap, and featured really goofy cover art).

December 9, 2008 at 10:17 AM ·

One of the most beautiful sonatas for violin and piano is IMO that of the belgian Lekeu. very sledom

played live. A fantastic piece. romantic, exuberant, with plenty of stamina. Ferras and young Menuhin

had splendid recordings. I believe Grumieux had also recorded it. A marvellous work!

December 11, 2008 at 04:33 PM ·

The Lekeu is gorgeous, very moving. The Menuhin and, in my opinion, especially the Ferras recordings are special. I've played it a few times. It's not quite unknown but certainly not as much played as it deserves to be. Janine Jansen said to me that she liked it very much but that people tended to want Franck instead...

I recently got a CD of Magnard with Dumay/Collard duo, still haven't got around to listening to it, but Carlos, you've sharpened my appetite, thank you. 

There are some many interesting  and neglected French sonatas from around that time: among others Faure 2nd sonata, Germaine Tailleferre (no.1), written for Thibaud and of which Camilla Wicks was an enthusiastic exponent: wonderful, haunting piece. And also a lovely one by Reynaldo Hahn, Marcel Proust's lover and an interesting character. Nowadays pieces like Ravel opus posthumous, Enescu 2nd sonata are played a little more often, deservedly so. Also there's a beautiful recording (live) of Oistrakh playing Martinu 3rd Sonata. I see Julia Fischer is due to play  it in London in March.

December 11, 2008 at 08:18 PM ·

About Oistrakh, he did a supreme recording of Medtner's "epique" sonata with Goldenweiser

at the piano. Other seldom played sonatas are those of Walton and Goosens. And who plays

Evgeni Svetlanov's elegie to the memory of David Oistrakh for violin and orchestra? Ha, so many

works and so little time!

December 11, 2008 at 08:52 PM ·

Carlos: about the Poulenc that was first performed by Ginette Neveu and Francis Poulenc at the piano during the war, I have seen the original manuscript in Boston with all the annotations handwritten by Neveu. Impressive. After the tragic death of Neveu in 1949, Poulenc modified the last movement, evoking a "crash": reference to her tragic death in the Constellation ...

December 11, 2008 at 11:02 PM ·

Well, if ever that manuscript goes for sale, it will cost a fortune. There are very, very fwe Neveu's handwriten examples. Even a single autographied photo can go from u$s 500 on.

December 12, 2008 at 09:54 PM ·

The Walton isn't played much here in the U.S., I wonder if it's played more in the UK or on the continent.  It's a fantastic work, check out the recording  by Daniel Hope and Simon Mulligan.


December 13, 2008 at 10:07 AM ·

Other violin sonatas nearly unknown nor played: those of the hungarian Dohnanyi, the russian Paul

Juon and the polish Henryk Melcer. Young Ricci had a beautiful recording of Dohnanyi's, a romantic

splendid piece that should be in the repertory of every violinist.

December 13, 2008 at 09:01 PM ·

I wonder nobody mentioned Korngold's sonata, a real gem IMO. Janacek's sonata is also not played so often, and a sonata (not the famous sonatina) by Dvorak seems also to exist, but I haven't heard it yet. There are also good works by Wolff-Ferrari, Godard and Karen Khachaturian and a very long (and rather unbalanced...) sonata by D'Indy. Liszt's Grand Duo Concertant is surely worth a mention here and there are surely a lot of works more.


December 13, 2008 at 09:56 PM ·

About Dvorak´s sonata there's a great version by Josef Suk on Supraphon.

December 14, 2008 at 02:07 AM ·

Does the showy Amy Beach sonata count for this thread?  I don't think it is played that often.  Interesting piece, and plenty to keep both violinist and pianist busy.

December 15, 2008 at 03:17 PM ·

I heard Szeryng play the Ponce sonata back around '75.  If anyone knows of a recording available (besides the original LP format), please let me know.



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