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Sonata for violin and piano no. 1

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Allegro molto – Andante – Scherzo : allegro vivo – Finale : Allegro quasi presto

Fauré wrote the first of his two violin sonatas in 1875-76. It was premiered at the Société Nationale de Musique in January 1877 by the violinist Marie Tuyau, accompanied by the composer at the piano. Breitkopf & Härtel published the work in the same year with a dedication to the violinist Paul Viardot, whose sister had just become engaged to Fauré. This sonata, the composer’s first incursion into the domain of chamber music, immediately enjoyed a success that has continued undiminished ever since. The work, which Fauré was probably inspired to write by his discovery of several virtuosos – among them Pablo de Sarasate and Henri Vieuxtemps – owes a great deal to the Belgian violinist Hubert Leonard, who kept a close eye on the composition of the piece at Saint-Adresse, near Le Havre, where the two musicians were staying with mutual friends. It is regarded by many commentators as an important stage in the history of music, marking the starting point of a new era for French chamber music; it did indeed open the way for a whole series of sonatas for the same forces, by Franck, Lekeu, Pierné and d’Indy among others, and is today one of the pillars of the chamber repertory for violinists. The sonata is written as a true duo in which both instruments have entirely independent lines. It opens with an energetic Allegro in sonata form, followed by a poignantly expressive Andante, then a brilliant Scherzo. The work ends with a spirited, exceptionally vigorous Finale.


publication date : 11/01/24

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