Glorious phrases by the young Richard Strauss provide opportunity for brilliant technical and expressive playing.
Strauss composed his new violin sonata in 1887, shortly after the completion of his first symphonic tone poem, 'Aus Italien'. As the twenty-three year old increasingly focused his efforts to orchestral music and opera in the late 1880s, this sonata is among the last of his chamber works not adapted from his operatic tunes.
There is youthful fire and evidence of Strauss’ early grasp of orchestral colour in the Sonata. The first movement swings between moments of hard-driven drama and soulful yearning, traversing the ranges of both instruments. Long, wafting lines follow in the Andante cantabile. The sense of melancholy quickly evaporates in the finale as the eloquent melody is supported by virtuosic passages. Throughout, Strauss flawlessly balances the music between the violin and piano, while also allowing each to showcase their full magnitude of expression.
Recorded 7 October 2018, St Andrew's on the Terrace, Wellington by RNZ Concert
A Wellington Chamber Music Trust concert
Producer: David McCaw
Engineer: Darryl Stack