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Sonata for violin and piano no. 3

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Allegro moderato – Scherzo (non troppo vivace) – Andante – Intermezzo. Un poco moderato – Allegro

Published by Durand in 1878, Godard’s Third Violin Sonata is dedicated to the Princesse de Chimay. The work reposes on a succession of movements with highly contrasting atmospheres, now stormy, now cheerful. The composer also holds surprises in store that give it vivid relief. The initial Allegro moderato – which like the last movement of the sonata ends in the key of G major – begins with a theme whose first bars contain a typically Schumannesque harmonic ambiguity, stemming from a hesitation between G minor and E flat major. The juxtaposition and superimposition of different rhythmic breakdowns also generate great agitation. Simpler in style, the second phrase, stated by the violin, is characterised by an ostinato dotted rhythm that produces an agreeable effect. The second movement is a playful Scherzo based on two elements: one, light and swirling, is made up of staccato lines in conjunct motion; the second has a more cantabile character. Then comes an Andante which, after a very expressive opening, unfolds in quasi-rhapsodic fashion with great flexibility of tempo. Like the first movement, the Intermezzo plays on effects of rhythmic shifts and superimposition that create a ludic impression. The sonata ends with a breathless Allegro. The first theme derives its energy from the combination of quaver figuration in octaves on the piano with accented syncopations on the violin, which give way to whirling scalar motifs. Dynamic contrasts add to the diversity of this effervescent movement, which concludes with a jubilatory and irresistible acceleration.


publication date : 25/09/23

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