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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.
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.
7) The Poulenc violin sonata.
8) Beethoven sonata no. 9 op.47 in A major, "Kreutzer".
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?
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.
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