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Sir Edward Elgar

Sir Edward Elgar Composer

Violin Sonata in E-, Op.82

Performances: 13
Tracks: 35
  • Violin Sonata in E-, Op.82
    Key: E-
    Year: 1918
    Genre: Chamber Sonata
    Pr. Instrument: Violin
    • 1.Allegro
    • 2.Romance: Andante
    • 3.Allegro non troppo
This Sonata is a late work and though it was premiered in 1919 by the composer's friend, violinist W.H. Reed, and pianist Landon Ronald, its most compelling interpreter and champion in its early years was famed English violinist Albert Sammons, who usually performed it with pianist William Murdoch. The composition quickly became recognized in England and throughout Europe and America for the masterpiece it is. Cast in three movements, the work features a lovely Andante—viewed as the emotional centerpiece of the work—framed by two mostly lively movements that brim with energy and color, while exhibiting a deft sense for contrast.

The first movement Allegro begins stormily, but the lyrical alternate theme soon appears to quell the sense of anxiety with its reassuring warmth and lovely romanticism. But even it contains a restless sense and cannot banish the unsettling mood of the main theme from returning in the development section, and in the reprise and coda.

As suggested above, the Andante middle panel contains probably the most heartrending music in the work. Not that it brims with fevered passion throughout—indeed, much of the secondary material associated with the lovely main theme is playful and filled with sunshine. The more dramatic middle section soars to a lovely climax that is part Brahms and part Rachmaninov. The Allegro non troppo finale is lively and bright in its main theme, but exhibits an elegant stateliness, as well. While some of the alternate material imparts an ethereal and at times even ponderous character, the overall mood of the music is one of confidence and joy, its expressive language richly post-Romantic.

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