Although published simultaneously with the Opus 1 trio, the Violin Sonata in D minor, Op 2, shows a distinct advance in Scharwenka’s musical development and also bears evidence of his ever-increasing confidence and assuredness as a composer. Once again Schumann’s presence is still quite strongly felt, but Scharwenka is here less restricted by the requirements of classical conformity, resulting in a work which is naturally more fluent, and in which the thematic content is more fully and effectively developed. As with the trio, a short ‘Adagio sostenuto’ introduces the first movement ‘Allegro appassionato’, which is characterized predominantly by a restless and impulsive energy, with only occasional respite being offered by way of the more lyrical second subject. The second movement, ‘Romanze’, is a perfect centrepiece for the sonata with its intimate lyricism and quiet simplicity contrasting well with the excitement of the outer two movements. The finale, ‘Presto agitato’, hurries on impetuously, culminating in a triumphant conclusion in the tonic major.
from notes by Martin Eastick © 2002