Hyperion Records

Violin Sonata No 1 in A major
1897; published poshumously; dedicated, in June 1929, to Paul Oberdoerffer

'Ravel: Complete music for violin & piano' (CDA67820)
Ravel: Complete music for violin & piano
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67820 
Track 4 on CDA67820 [14'04]

Violin Sonata No 1 in A major
In June 1895, the twenty-year-old Maurice Ravel’s Conservatoire professor Émile Pessard described his harmony exercises as ‘exact’—Pessard lived on until 1917, perhaps long enough to blush at this judgment. At all events, in the exam in the summer of 1895 these exercises weren’t exact enough for the jury and Ravel had to leave the institution, before returning as a member of Fauré’s composition class in January 1898. In the meantime, he began a Violin Sonata in A major, but got no further than the first movement. This information comes from a note he sent to the violinist Paul Oberdoerffer in June 1929, consisting of the opening violin phrase and a dedication to him ‘in memory of the 1st performance of the uncompleted first sonata (18…)’. Oberdoerffer went on to teach violin at the Conservatoire and wrote light music for his instrument with titles such as Chinoiserie and La petite fleur de mon jardin. Ravel’s single movement, in sonata form, juxtaposes modal writing, as at the opening, with more chromatic harmonies, including two passages of downward sliding chords that sound like Delius. The joins may not always be totally convincing, but there is no mistaking Ravel’s way with a lyrical idea.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2011

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA67820 track 4
Recording date
28 November 2010
Recording venue
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Ravel: Complete music for violin & piano (CDA67820)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: September 2011
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