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The greatest violin sonatas
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lenasv.
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January 31, 2011 - 6:01 am
Member Since: January 13, 2011
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I would like to make a list of the greatest violin sonatas and links to good recordings. I am also interested in all to share their experiences with the pieces. I would like to start with those I love most. Please, help to expand the list!

1) Brahms violin sonata in A major, op. 100.A lovely, deep wonderful work. Also, the most underestimated of Brahms sonatas. Much more difficult than it looks like, and those octavas in the first movement rarely sound clean 🙂

2) Brahms violin sonata in d minor.

3) Brahms violin sonata in G major.

4) Richard Strauss, violin sonata in E-flat major, op. 18.

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This sonata was not played so much in the past due to the fact that it was politically boycotted by many violinists (Richard Strauss was supporting the Nazi in Germany, in which extent is a question for discussion), but was recorded by Heifetz 3 times. At his absolutely last concert, he played this sonata.

5) Guillaume Lekeu, violin sonata in G major

He died one year after writing this sonata, at age 24. Just as Strauss sonata, it might require 2-3 listenings to understand, but gives very much back.

6) Cesar Franck, violin sonata, probably one of the most loved violin sonatas.

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7) The Poulenc violin sonata.

8) Beethoven sonata no. 9 op.47 in A major, "Kreutzer".

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 31, 2011 - 11:03 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Thanks for your listening suggestions Lena,

I will try to find time to listen and enjoy these sonatas. Hope we get some contributions to your list soon 🙂 

I am not sure if I ever heard the Guillaume Lekeu or Poulenc sonata. Love most of the Beethoven and Brahms violin sonatas.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 6, 2011 - 12:00 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Bach - Chaconne
Brahms - G major  A major and D minor
Beethoven - Kreutzer and Spring
Franck 
Fauré - violin sonata no 1
Mendelssohn - sonata in F major
Mozart - many of them
Poulenc
Prokofiev
Grieg - three sonatas 

It's really hard to pick just a few. And if I refreshed my memory the list would go on forever and ever. Laugh

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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lenasv.
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February 7, 2011 - 10:20 am
Member Since: January 13, 2011
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I see that you liked the Poulenc 🙂 It is a terribly cool piece.

I noticed Elgars violin sonata is pretty populaire too, in general. Personally, I find it having an absolutely lovely theme, but somehow it does not "touch me" in the same way Brahms do...

Mendelssohn, Mozart and Grieg I have not heard yet! Something I look forward to do.

How would you consider the sonatas you listed in terms of musical and/or technical difficulty?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 7, 2011 - 2:15 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Honestly, I would have to start playing them again and think about what you just asked me to give you a realistic answer to that question. When I am playing them I usually don't think about the level of difficulty. Brahms and Beethoven are always musically difficult but not terribly difficult. Mozart is one of the easiest technically but very important to get the style right. I have such an enormous respect for Mozart. Elegance in it's simplicityLaugh

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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suresh
Tuticorin, India
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September 29, 2014 - 10:36 am
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Mozart violin sonata K 301

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

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Chinafiddler
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September 30, 2014 - 12:14 am
Member Since: September 17, 2014
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Hi all,

Politics and music, not a good mix in my opinions so I usually ignore the stories about Richard Strauss and just enjoy listening to this wonderful sonata. In my opinion one of the best especially when played by somebody like Jascha Heifetz. It's right up there with the best of the best.

Mozart is always wonderful to listen to. The music although not so technically demanding as say Brahms or Beethoven embodies a kind of child like purity which touches my soul. If I am feeling stressed Mozart is my man, if I want a bit of fire Beethoven or Brahms goes on.

I particularly like the Mozart  recordings of Arthur Grumiaux and Clara Haskil both superb musicians.

If you want to listen to a great recording of Beethovens Kreutzer sonata try the David Oistrakh, Lev Oborin collaboration.

The Brahms, well you might like the recordings by Maxim Vengerov.

 

Regards

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 30, 2014 - 9:14 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

One of the things that impress me about Hilary Hahn is how relaxed she is when making music.

The trick to playing Mozart sonata's, which are very frequently performed, and making them sound special, is to make music, which IMAO, Hilary does very well.
Discussions about what is and what is not "Mozart" are endless. When I sat on juries for new positions in the orchestras that I worked in, it was almost a joke to hear experts in our orchestra discuss why one version was not musical compared to another.... Long story short, the leaders and principles rarely felt the same way about the same auditions. <--- super off topic I know..... It just came to my mind after reading your comment about Mozart compared to Brahms and Beethoven. LOL

All great performers you mentioned in your comment CF.

Here is an interesting video where Perlman discusses Heifetz.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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suresh
Tuticorin, India
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September 30, 2014 - 9:57 am
Member Since: August 22, 2011
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Grumiaux and Clara Haskil were a great pair.  They often interchanged their instruments as both were proficient in Violin and Piano.

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

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