favorite violin sonatas

Posted by: Lingyis

favorite violin sonatas - 03/17/13 11:55 PM

i had a another thread on the strauss sonata which to understate a little not my most-often-listened-to piece of music. i'll probably have a good violinist to play with every now and then, i wonder what favorite violin sonatas pianists have? i've played a few violin sonatas:

- the baby mozart violin sonata (the 1st "mature" mozart violin sonata beginner violinists always play)
- spring, kreutzer, and the last one. i like the 7th one too.
- one of the griegs, think the last one
- prokofiev's op 80

but i don't think i really have a "favorite one" the same way i have a favorite violin concerto, or piano trio, and so on.

what are the violin sonatas you guys have enjoyed the most?
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 12:05 AM

My favorites:

Beethoven Spring and Kreutzer
Schumann #2
Brahms #1 and #3
Franck
Strauss
Corigliano
Enesco #3

Of those, the only one I haven't played yet is Brahms 1 - still trying to find a violinist to play it with me. frown
Posted by: Lingyis

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 01:53 AM

great list. i'll slowly go over those pieces. the brahms no. 1 seems like a beautiful piece.

i just found out about ravel's violin sonata (no 2, i think, the one with Blues in it). what an incredible piece! 3rd movement looks hard, or at least exhausting, for the violinist though.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 04:36 AM

Beethoven "Spring"

Mozart, a whole bunch: both Bb majors (K. 378, K. 454), E minor, F major (376), A major (305), Eb major (380), G major (379)
The violin sonatas are among my favorite sets of Mozart's works, even giving the piano concerti and symphonies a run for their money.

Schubert Sonatinas in D major and A minor (probably because they were the first piano-violin duets I ever did seriously)

....and Franck, absolutely.
Just forgot to mention it. I think I have a mental block against the piece because I had an LP with an arrangement of the piece for piano and cello, and it was fine, but I lent out the LP and never got it back. ha
Posted by: bennevis

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 04:43 AM

My long-standing favorites are Franck's Violin Sonata and Beethoven's 'Spring' and 'Kreutzer' Sonatas.

Then I also discovered Fauré's lovely Violin Sonata No.1, and when a friend asked me to partner him in Mozart's Violin Sonata in E minor, K 304, I found it to be a profoundly moving and beautiful piece, with a typically Mozartian ambiguity of smiling through tears. Mark Steinberg & Mitsuko Uchida's recording of it is truly stunning.

And last but not least, just remembered Saint-Saëns's Violin Sonata No.1, with its highly virtuosic moto perpetuo finale following a wistful slow movement.
Posted by: emilypianist89

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 07:51 AM

Brahms G Major!! smile
Posted by: arpan70

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 08:12 AM

Hey, no fair. Brahms 2 deserves some credit. That melody!

Agree with all of the above. Also, Grieg 3. And I highly recommend checking out Guillaume Lekeu's violin sonata. It's very beautiful, and sadly underplayed. Try getting your violinist to do it. Mine wanted to do do Brahms instead. tired
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 09:45 AM

Am I the only one who hates the Spring sonata here? (well, not 'hates', of course.. but much prefer any of the other ones, especially 7)

Definitely Prokofiev n.1 - I love playing that piece, it's magnificent and runs very deep... there is just SO much in there, emotionally and in thematic material, and I love the sort of cyclic form, the end is very powerful.

Debussy will also always have a special place in my heart. I love all the Brahms too, and Franck especially.
Posted by: DanS

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 09:51 AM

The Reinecke is nice. I also heard it with a flute player, which worked well.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 10:27 AM

Surprised no one has mentioned the Saint-Saëns D minor, a worthy piece to set beside the Franck. The Fauré sonata mentioned above almost approaches the Franck, though I once had the distressing experience of hearing it on the radio played on flute! One cannot fault flutists for wanting to adopt it, but it was rather jarring to hear the piercing eloquence of the last movement reduced to a quasi-carnival act.

Quote:
Definitely Prokofiev n.1 - I love playing that piece, it's magnificent and runs very deep...

Absolutely, one of his great masterpieces. I played the 2nd sonata with a flutist (have not done it with a violinist), and it works splendidly. Very athletic 4th movement!

Quote:
The Reinecke is nice. I also heard it with a flute player, which worked well.

I know Reinecke wrote a violin sonata, though I have not heard it. But I suspect here you're talking about Sonata Undine, originally written for flute, and one of his more popular works.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 01:20 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Surprised no one has mentioned the Saint-Saëns D minor, a worthy piece to set beside the Franck.


I remembered the Saint-Saëns almost at the same time you posted this grin.

Not surprising it tends to be forgotten in this context - among French (or Belgian....) violin sonatas, I must have heard the Franck at least 100 times live (in concert or on radio), but the Saint-Saëns just once. (The Lekeu also once.) And the Debussy at least 30 times, the Fauré maybe 15 times. Yet as a virtuoso (as well as melodic) vehicle, the Saint-Saëns can hardly be bettered.

The one time I heard it live (a BBC Lunchtime Concert many years ago), it was due to be performed first, followed by the Franck to finish. The performers - Pierre Amoyal and Pascal Rogé - decided to switch them around at the last minute, and no wonder.....the house was brought down as the (then) young musicians hurled themselves at the finale at an almost impossibly reckless pace, yet just about stayed together.....
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 01:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Am I the only one who hates the Spring sonata here?....

I can see why you would. ha

A couple of reasons -- it's 'so sweet' (the 1st mvt), and (mainly) familiarity? For me, those are the reasons I love it so much but I can see that eventually it could turn. It's familiar enough to be greatly beloved, but not yet to the point of "OK, get outta here." grin
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 04:27 PM

Franck for me.
Posted by: emilypianist89

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 05:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Am I the only one who hates the Spring sonata here? (well, not 'hates', of course.. but much prefer any of the other ones, especially 7)


Spring is not my favourite either. I quite like number 4! smile
Posted by: Arghhh

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 10:46 PM

I'm with emily - Beethoven 4 is one of my favourites and I really dislike the Spring sonata. I'm hoping some day I'll get to play Prokofiev #1, but for now, I'll continue liking my recital rep (for this Saturday) of Beethoven #8, Debussy and Prokofiev #2 smile
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 11:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Arghhh
....and I really dislike the Spring sonata....

ARGHHH! ha
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 11:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Arghhh
....and I really dislike the Spring sonata....

ARGHHH! ha

Stabbed. The only Beethoven piano & violin sonata I have professionally performed.

It was a wonderful experience for me as a young uni student. Learning it was so exciting...

But I seem to have blindly hastened into jaded territories, the outskirts of Beethoven's genius, the fallen crumbs, the distant planet to Beethoven's Op 47 or 96.

crazy
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/18/13 11:45 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
...But I seem to have blindly hastened into jaded territories, the outskirts of Beethoven's genius, the fallen crumbs, the distant planet to Beethoven's Op 47 or 96.
crazy

ha

I wouldn't say so. IMO more like it was one of the few moments when he was feeling almost normal. grin
Posted by: Ferdinand

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 12:29 AM

The first time I heard the "spring" sonata, it was on the radio. Having missed the programmer's introduction, I played "guess the composer," and decided it was some lesser contemporary of Beethoven, trying to emulate the master but without much success. Then he had the gall to borrow and adapt the rondo theme from op. 22 for the 4th movement.

Since then I've tried to listen to the sonata more receptively, but can't shake that first impression.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 12:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Ferdinand
....Then he had the gall to borrow and adapt the rondo theme from op. 22 for the 4th movement....

Interesting, I suppose. smile
But, FWIW, I've played both movements many times, and despite my tending to see similarities even where there aren't any grin ....nothing like that ever occurred to me. I don't think they're any more similar than billions of other things that hardly anyone would ever connect.
Posted by: BDB

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 12:58 AM

I like Stravinsky's Duo Concertante, which is pretty much a sonata. The Janacek Sonata is interesting, too.
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 01:29 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Am I the only one who hates the Spring sonata here?....

I can see why you would. ha

A couple of reasons -- it's 'so sweet' (the 1st mvt), and (mainly) familiarity? For me, those are the reasons I love it so much but I can see that eventually it could turn. It's familiar enough to be greatly beloved, but not yet to the point of "OK, get outta here." grin


Maybe I'm just not old enough yet, but I'll listen to a good enough musician play even the most hackneyed music. Heck, I love listening to new interpretations that can add something fresh to the pot.
Posted by: BDB

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 01:34 AM

An example of that would be the Grieg #3 played by Kreisler and Rachmaninoff. It is not the most profound music, but they make it seem like it is.
Posted by: wr

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 06:55 AM

The Bartok violin sonatas are fantastic. Here are Oistrakh and Richter in the first one -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UakdQno0t0Y
Posted by: Gerard12

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 07:53 AM

Originally Posted By: arpan70
Hey, no fair. Brahms 2 deserves some credit. That melody!.....

Yes, the second is one of my favorites, but I get the impression that many younger soloists believe that it's more of a rewarding work for the pianist.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 10:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
...But I seem to have blindly hastened into jaded territories, the outskirts of Beethoven's genius, the fallen crumbs, the distant planet to Beethoven's Op 47 or 96.
crazy

ha

I wouldn't say so. IMO more like it was one of the few moments when he was feeling almost normal. grin

Gotcha. Sort of like the Op 22 sonata?
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 10:43 AM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Am I the only one who hates the Spring sonata here?....

I can see why you would. ha

A couple of reasons -- it's 'so sweet' (the 1st mvt), and (mainly) familiarity? For me, those are the reasons I love it so much but I can see that eventually it could turn. It's familiar enough to be greatly beloved, but not yet to the point of "OK, get outta here." grin


Maybe I'm just not old enough yet, but I'll listen to a good enough musician play even the most hackneyed music. Heck, I love listening to new interpretations that can add something fresh to the pot.


Me too. But that one is usually is "assigned" to kids as their first collaborative sonata, and doesn't usually quite get played that well..........
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 11:17 AM

Jason, the Op. 22 is a masterpiece!!

Any Mozart and Beethoven, love them all smile
Also, all the Brahms
Alkan
Franck
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 08:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Jason, the Op. 22 is a masterpiece!!

Of course. Apple pie order indeed, Beethoven was incapable of writing anything less than great.

And yet... considering what he accomplished with the Op 27 duo, doesn't the Op 22 seem more of a delight and well deserved satisfaction in compositional mastery, albeit in a more conventional sense?
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 09:24 PM

Chopin's Op 22 isn't too bad either... grin

Beethoven's is also a great work. I think I worked on it once, but never performed it. Technical troubles? grin

That was a long time ago.
Posted by: Brendan

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/19/13 10:22 PM

Count me also as one who doesn't like listening to (or playing) the Spring sonata. IMO, it's a superficial piece with some awkward and frustrating piano writing. Of the Beethoven sonatas, my favorite is #10. Wonderful, wonderful piece. #9 is also great, but very stressful to play (strangely enough, I always found that the slow movement was the hardest).

Others:

Franck (one of my favorite pieces of music, period)
Strauss
Brahms 2 and 3
Bartok 2 (haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard)
Schnittke 2 (also hard, but worth it)
Bach E major (these sonatas don't get enough love)
Both of the Mozart B-flat Sonatas
Prokofiev 2
Poulenc
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/20/13 12:22 AM

Personally, I love the Franck second movement (well, I love all the movements grin ).
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/20/13 12:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Chopin's Op 22 isn't too bad either... grin

Beethoven's is also a great work. I think I worked on it once, but never performed it. Technical troubles? grin

That was a long time ago.


That's another one of those sonatas that you know within the first 5 seconds whether you can play it or not. Unlike Op. 2/3, my answer was a reluctant 'no' on this one.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/20/13 02:21 AM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
That's another one of those sonatas that you know within the first 5 seconds whether you can play it or not. Unlike Op. 2/3, my answer was a reluctant 'no' on this one.

Wrong! grin

I can just about promise you that you could play it, and play it very very well. It might require a different fingering than what you've thought of (in a place or two), maybe even helping out a little with the L.H. which I know you consider anathema (good word) smile but we might be able to persuade you it isn't -- but anyway I doubt that would be needed.

You could play it.
Posted by: Lingyis

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/20/13 06:55 AM

listened to a bunch from the suggestions and--

man i love the poulenc.

the leveu violin sonata i'm not too crazy about, but his piano trio is awesome.

probably will play the franck at some point? just because it's frank.

is the saint-seans so underplayed? i heard it at carnegie's weill hall once played by a juilliard graduate. nice, easy piece to interpret, i thought, not too much "music" to ponder over. play the notes and for the most part it'll sound good.

ravel's awesome.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/20/13 11:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Brendan
Count me also as one who doesn't like listening to (or playing) the Spring sonata. IMO, it's a superficial piece with some awkward and frustrating piano writing. Of the Beethoven sonatas, my favorite is #10. Wonderful, wonderful piece. #9 is also great, but very stressful to play (strangely enough, I always found that the slow movement was the hardest).

Others:

Franck (one of my favorite pieces of music, period)
Strauss
Brahms 2 and 3
Bartok 2 (haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard)
Schnittke 2 (also hard, but worth it)
Bach E major (these sonatas don't get enough love)
Both of the Mozart B-flat Sonatas
Prokofiev 2
Poulenc


Yo! Prokofiev 1 is missing from this list!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 03/20/13 11:13 AM

The Saint-Saens d minor is incredibly difficult and awkward for what it is... Kind of a cool piece, though! The musical essence is a bit lacking, I think, although there are still some beautiful moments.
Posted by: wr

Re: favorite violin sonatas - 04/16/13 03:21 AM

Just stumbled across this video on YouTube of Kagan and Richter doing Medtner's lovely first sonata, and thought it interesting enough to make it worth adding to this thread. The sound isn't great - the dynamics seem compressed - but it's listenable.