Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Presto
Movement 3: Larghetto
Movement 4: Rubato: Moderato – Ziemlich rasch, scharf rhythmisiert
Like the first sonata, Sonata No 2 has four movements, but is planned on a larger scale, as is evident from the first bars of the opening Allegro, in which the violin unfolds a long bittersweet first subject somewhat reminiscent of the sonata of César Franck. (Weiner’s chamber and orchestral works often testify to his sympathy for French music.) As this sonata-form movement unfolds, however, a passionate Hungarian strain is also evident. It comes, however, to a serenely lyrical end, the violin having a rather plaintive last word. The ensuing short Presto scherzo is by contrast almost Mendelssohnian in its lightness and flashing wit, the violin and piano swapping phrases with antiphonal abandon. A more authentically Hungarian tone is heard in the romantic Larghetto slow movement, where the violin spins its nostalgic song against measured descending chords on the piano. The finale opens with a rhapsodic introduction (Rubato) which freely recalls first the music of the scherzo, then the first movement in impassioned recitative, then finally the third movement, sweeping into a cadenza-like pyrotechnic display for violin unaccompanied. This issues in the steady marching tread of a rondo-like Ziemlich rasch—an extended and highly inventive movement marked by passionate dialogue between the two instruments, and an occasional sardonic, almost Mahlerian shaft of wit, that brings this fine sonata to a good-humoured but essentially serious close.
from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2009