Home / Works / Sonata for violin and piano no. 2 in A major op. 39 (Louise Farrenc)

Print content of page

Sonata for violin and piano no. 2 in A major op. 39 (Louise Farrenc)




1. Allegro grazioso. 2. Scherzo : Allegro. 3. Adagio. 4. Finale : Allegro


Louise Farrenc’s two violin sonatas may have resulted from her frequent contact with various eminent violinists—she dedicated the first to Jean-Baptiste-Philémon de Cuvillon (who studied under Habeneck and, like her, Reicha) and the second to Louis Sina (a member of the Schuppanzigh Quartet). Furthermore, the Violin Sonata No. 2 (1850) was composed in the same year as the much lauded premiere of her Nonet op. 38: on 19 March at the Salle Érard, the violin part was played by the young Joseph Joachim. Farrenc’s second foray into the genre of the violin sonata proves that her palette has more than one colour: in stark contrast to the dark C minor of the first sonata, the new work is in radiant A major, its romanticism even more restrained than usual, the dialogue between the two instruments voluble but lacking in conflict. However, despite its youthful tone, this second sonata has an ambitious four-movement form, while the presence of several altered chords in the Allegro grazioso and some minor key incursions in the Adagio increase the expressive intensity. Displaying a quicksilver exuberance that could easily have been written by Mendelssohn, the minor-mode Scherzo plays with accent displacement and creates hemiolas, sings gently in the central Trio then, after a reprise of the first section, tiptoes away with a pirouette. The final movement begins with much fanfare on an arpeggio phrase and subsequently maintains a playfulness deeply rooted in the classicism of the late 18th century.

    Person - 1
  • FARRENC, Louise (1804-1875)
  • Theme - 1
  • Musique de chambre – La musique pour violon et piano à la fin du XIXe siècle