Identify this mysterious sonata (and get free sheets)

May 31, 2014 at 09:42 PM · Three movements of a sonata for violin and piano is approximated by two courageous and happy amateur musicians. One recording of each movement will be released (about) every 10 days. The lucky Winner who first identifies the piece gets a copy of the sheet music and online honor ad infinitum.

I hope some of the many wonderful professional violinists on this forum can undertake the great mission of recording this hidden gem in the forgotten literature of violin music.

First out, is the second movement:

Now it's your turn.

(Hint: the composer is dead.)

Replies (32)

June 1, 2014 at 04:18 PM · Hint 2: He was in Paris for some time.

June 1, 2014 at 05:54 PM · Could not recognize it, but I liked your quite unique sound. At times, vibrato sounded almost like a harmonion in those

French songs.

June 1, 2014 at 06:36 PM · Thanks Rocky :) I haven't heard those songs, but should try and listen :)

June 1, 2014 at 09:42 PM · Beautifully played :) And I have no idea what it is....

June 2, 2014 at 10:20 AM · The movement is beautifully played, Beatriz. Kudos to you and the pianist.

I wonder if this is not a piece of music mostly "forgotten" due to the composer's other proclivity for writing overshadowing many, if not most, of his musical compositions. I wonder, too, if after his time spent in Paris he did not find repose in Tangiers? Could it be that this sonata was composed by Paul Bowles?

June 3, 2014 at 06:10 PM · ..I guess no one is going to get it...

June 3, 2014 at 07:41 PM · Thanks Barry & Elise, I am glad you liked it! :)

Barry, as for the guess on Paul, the composer of the piece only did conducting and composition. Thank you for introducing me to the beautiful music of Paul Bowles, however. (Listening right now to his ballades.)

Elise, I am sure somebody will guess it correctly! In worst case, I think the other movements might make it easier to make a qualified guess on the composers origin, then the time-period can also help, some of the hints, etc :)

June 4, 2014 at 12:00 PM · It's not Gustav Mahler, is it? If so, massive congratulations on finding a sonata, which, according to Wikipedia, is lost. And, frankly, that slow movement is of a higher standard than I'd expect from a composer that inexperienced.

By the way, I can't imagine how to improve on the standard of performance by your two amateurs. There are and have been a number of great musicians who were amateurs.

June 4, 2014 at 05:29 PM · Here are two further hints:

a.) he died a rather violent death

b.) his first teacher is considered t h e national icon of his country.

Beautiful sonata, I'm looking forward to listen to the other movements played by you - kudos!

June 4, 2014 at 07:12 PM · Ernest Chausson?

June 5, 2014 at 04:32 AM · Alberic Magnard?

June 5, 2014 at 08:29 AM · Thanks John for the very nice compliments :) I hear some things that I definitely should improve, but it's difficult to set in practice sometimes.

Mischa guessed it :-) (I'm so happy that somebody knows the piece! Lets see if somebody more can sort it out. I owe you the sheets now :) Have you played the sonata yourself?)

Marty, Johnny: the composer actually for a period, had the same teacher as Magnard, also a friend of Chausson. (Magnards violin sonata is sooo wonderful.)

June 6, 2014 at 12:22 AM · Mischa, please educate me. Who's this first teacher guy that's supposed to be the national icon of his country. The only musician I can think of to whom this description would apply is Sibelius. HE's not in the picture, is he? If he is, the composer would have to be Leevi Madetoja, who did spend time in Paris - but to say HIS death was rather violent would be stretching things a bit, wouldn't it?

June 6, 2014 at 03:12 AM · The person that came to mind for me was the Romanian, George Enescu. But the composer was not necessarily a violinist...

June 6, 2014 at 07:01 AM ·

John, I'm afraid I shouldn't ruin Beatriz' game by handing out more clues.

(On the other hand: it's safe to say you're darn close!)

Let's hope she pops up again for further directions.

June 6, 2014 at 09:33 AM · I got it! I'm not sharing any clues except, to prove my case, the surname is most vowel!

I listened again and am quite astonished how well this is played - you've managed to capture the feel of the piece played in a style contemporary with the composition. Hats off to you 'non professionals'.

June 9, 2014 at 10:25 PM · Thank you Elise - I've worked out, using Wikipedia, who it must be, but I must admit I'd never heard of him, let alone heard any of his music to work out anything from the other movements. To add to your clues, his surname sounds like it has definite military connections!

June 10, 2014 at 10:42 AM · Hi all! Thanks again, for the very kind words, Elise :)

Just wanted to do you like the composers wedding march? Try the Youtube recording (second from top?) with the performer with the initials J. S. :)

June 10, 2014 at 01:50 PM · Not as much - I'd almost put it in the category of the perfunctory or of Light Music. Elise's taste might be different.

June 10, 2014 at 04:07 PM · I'm struggling with this one; I love the piece and Beatriz, you play it beautifully! I fear that any more clues might give it away...the only true nationally iconic composers I can think of are Grieg, Sibelius and Nielsen, and none of them are really throwing up any ideas as far as I can tell.

June 10, 2014 at 11:53 PM · Mischa, your second clue isn't quite correct. The national icon wasn't the composer's first teacher. However, the composer WAS the national icon's first pupil.

June 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM · Beatriz could you now tell us who it is?

June 12, 2014 at 03:20 PM · Having castigated Mischa over the quality of his clues, I now have to admit that my clue is also wrong. I talked with a compatriot of the composer today at a wedding (at which the composer's wedding march was NOT played - it would have been better than the song that was sung, even though the singers were John Denver and Placido something or other). The composer's surname is NOT military, and would be much more likely to be mentioned in the Beverage Report.

June 12, 2014 at 09:59 PM ·

June 12, 2014 at 10:19 PM · Aditya, you are on the right track :)

June 13, 2014 at 08:11 AM · Managed to figure it out :)

June 16, 2014 at 08:44 PM · First movement also superior composition to the Wedding March. I think the performance is only almost as good as in the second movement.

June 19, 2014 at 06:46 PM · John, unfortunately for you, that's the only performance online available today ;) But I hope that will change!

June 20, 2014 at 12:02 AM · Just wanted to make it clear that YOU have the capability to produce a better performance!

June 28, 2014 at 11:33 AM · For those who haven't guessed it yet, the mystery composer is the Finnish composer Toivo Kuula:

He died a premature death, but had a chance to write some very beautiful pieces like his wedding march, his songs without words for cello/violin. Links to our home-made recordings of the first and second movement can be found here:

and here:

Third movement...yet to come :-)

June 28, 2014 at 06:48 PM · My Finnish colleague told me how the surname is pronounced, and, to my surprise, it sounded more like "Cola" than "Cooler". Hence my having to amend the cryptic clue.

June 28, 2014 at 09:11 PM · Hi John, and it always gets translated like "Hope Ball" whne I try google translate the Finnish pages! :) Definitely a cool name.

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