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Sonata for violin and piano No 2, WV91
November 1927; first performed by Schulhoff and violinist Richard Zika in Geneva on 7 April 1929

'Schulhoff: Violin Sonatas' (CDA67833)
Schulhoff: Violin Sonatas
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67833 
Movement 1: Allegro impetuoso
Movement 2: Andante
Movement 3: Burlesca: Allegretto
Movement 4: Allegro risoluto

Sonata for violin and piano No 2, WV91
The Sonata No 2 for violin and piano WV91 was composed in November 1927, right after the Esquisses de jazz (which includes a Charleston, Tango and Black Bottom). But it’s not jazz that is the strongest influence here but the music of Béla Bartók, which Schulhoff greatly admired. However, Schulhoff’s mature language is quite distinctive, and in this piece he makes use of some cleverly devised motivic organization that unifies the whole sonata. The first movement opens with an energetic, rhythmical violin theme which generates further ideas as the movement progresses—the contrasting second theme has some of the same rhythmic fingerprints, and the results are cohesive and compelling. But Schulhoff takes things further: the short Andante begins with slow, tolling, piano chords, but the violin starts with the same rhythmic motif as the first movement—two accented semiquavers followed by a long note—and this idea pervades the whole sonata. Indeed, the third movement Burlesca opens with the self-same rhythm, albeit in a very different context. At the start of the finale, Schulhoff reprises the opening of the first movement before moving in new directions that are propulsive and exciting. At the very end, it is the same group of three notes that drives the music to its close, marked molto feroce. Though it works well as a means of providing formal coherence, this little rhythmic cell is one that is to be found all over Schulhoff’s music of this period: the Double Concerto and Piano Sonata No 3, both written in the same year as the Violin Sonata No 2, have movements that make use of the same rhythmic motif. It was clearly a musical gesture that obsessed the composer at the time. The first performance of the Second Violin Sonata was given in Geneva on 7 April 1929 with violinist Richard Zika and Schulhoff himself at the piano.

from notes by Nigel Simeone © 2011

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67833 track 16
Burlesca: Allegretto
Recording date
5 April 2010
Recording venue
Beethovensaal, Hannover, Germany
Recording producer
Ludger Böckenhoff
Recording engineer
Ludger Böckenhoff
Hyperion usage
  1. Schulhoff: Violin Sonatas (CDA67833)
    Disc 1 Track 16
    Release date: February 2011
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