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Sonata for violin and piano no. 2

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Andante. Allegro vivace et appassionato – Intermezzo. Vivace – Andante quasi adagio – Finale. Allegro

Composed in 1866, like Godard’s first effort, the Violin Sonata no.2 was published in Paris by Durand around 1875. It is dedicated to the composer and ‘friend’ of the young violinist, Wilhelm Krüger, who wrote numerous salon pieces. Like the First Sonata, the work begins with a slow introduction marked Andante, though it is reduced here to just a few bars and has no explicit thematic link with the ensuing Allegro; in it, the composer gives prominence to a long dominant pedal, the function of which is to prepare the arrival of the theme in the tonic key of A minor. The phrase then stated on the violin is accompanied by broad ascending arpeggios on the piano, which install a restless atmosphere. The movement is structured by a process of thematic and rhetorical working that stimulates the discourse, which appears to move forward in an uninterrupted organic flow. After a recurrence of the initial Andante, the movement ends in the tonic major, a modulation that sheds a sudden ray of light on this tormented Allegro. The second movement is a picturesque Intermezzo given rhythmic life by the syncopations of the piano and coloured from time to time by unusual intervals in the melody (augmented fifths in particular). The Andante quasi adagio begins with a simple theme that is nonetheless tinged with fleeting chromaticisms. The piano syncopations that replace the repeated quavers of the accompaniment then generate a tension that is never fully expressed. In total contrast, the Finale is a spirited Allegro rounded off by a bubbling coda, in a tempo marked un poco più vivace calculated to trigger applause.


publication date : 25/09/23

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