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Violin Sonata No 1 in D major, Op 9

'Weiner: Violin Sonatas' (CDA67735)
Weiner: Violin Sonatas
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Movement 1: Moderato
Movement 2: Rasches Walzertempo
Movement 3: Andante
Movement 4: Presto – Rasches Walzertempo

Violin Sonata No 1 in D major, Op 9
Weiner composed his Violin Sonata No 1 in D major Op 9 in 1911. The predominantly lyrical first movement, Moderato, is reminiscent of the Brahms sonatas not so much in style as in mood and structural concision; and the near-independence of the two instruments, moving almost throughout the movement in counterpoint, is notable. The long-spanned principal theme, which might be said to have a slight Hungarian accent rather than use a Hungarian vocabulary, is a fine example of Weiner’s sustained melodic writing. The sonata is remarkable for containing two movements in fast waltz-tempo, and the first of these serves as the scherzo: its capricious and voluble outer sections surround a central trio dominated by repeated dactylic rhythms, very like—and perhaps alluding to—those that infuse the first movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No 7.

The ecstatic melodic writing of the Andante slow movement demonstrates Weiner’s deep roots in Germanic romanticism, especially Brahms, though the musical texture is lighter than that of his great predecessor. The restatement of the main tune in the last third of the movement brings a rippling, decorative accompaniment to gild this ecstatic lily. By contrast the finale begins as a good-humoured, capering Presto requiring fine violin technique for its execution, pitted against fanfaring chords in the piano. (Weiner directs that it should be ‘sharply rhythmicized’.) Soon, however, there occurs a cyclic return of the first movement’s opening theme, interspersed with the quick-moving figurations of the finale. These elements alternate in an energetic and sometimes grotesque parade of invention, which constitutes a development. When it seems the music can no longer surprise us, the coda strikes in even faster, at Rasches Walzertempo, with a fusillade of pizzicato strumming from the violinist, and drives to a distinctly raffish conclusion.

from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2009

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Details for CDA67735 track 2
Rasches Walzertempo
Recording date
3 June 2008
Recording venue
Jerusalem Music Centre, Israel
Recording producer
Eric Wen
Recording engineer
Zvi Hirshler
Hyperion usage
  1. Weiner: Violin Sonatas (CDA67735)
    Disc 1 Track 2
    Release date: July 2009
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