- Johannes Brahms, Sonata no. 2 in A major for violin and piano, op. 100
- Robert Schumann, Sonata no. 1 in A minor for violin and piano, op. 105
- Johannes Brahms, Scherzo from the F.A.E. Sonata
With Agnès Pyka (violin), Laurent Wagschal (piano)
The fruit of a mere four days of feverish composition, the First Sonata (1851) by Schumann reflects a new interest in the violin, the instrument which (undoubtedly spurred on by his friend, Ferdinand David, first violin in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra) would become one of composer’s preferred modes of expression in his final years. In contrast to the dark and almost untamed nature of this score, the highly lyrical Sonata no. 2 for violin (1886) reveals a radiant and relaxed Brahms, in a piece overflowing with his brilliance and exuding a sense of freedom. The melodic movement that runs through the work, coupled with Brahms’ ability to harness the violin’s strengths, and the remarkable balance achieved with the piano, combine to make this an impossibly captivating piece. Such prowess was foreshadowed in the Scherzo from the F.A.E. (“frei, aber einsam”, or “free, but alone”) Sonata for violin, created in 1853 by three composers – the young Brahms, his revered teacher, Robert Schumann, and Schumann’s pupil, Albert Dietrich.