It might seem strange that Goldmark wrote so little for his own instrument, the violin, if it were not for the relative brevity of his work list. His best-known score is his Concerto in A minor, Op 28, published in 1877 and latterly a favourite of Heifetz and Milstein. On a smaller scale, there are two suites, No 1 in D major, Op 11 (published in Mainz in 1869), and No 2 in E flat, Op 43 (Berlin, 1893); there are also a D major Sonata, Op 25, of 1874, published in Mainz the following year, and a Ballade in G and Romance in A, both appearing in Vienna in 1913. The Suite in D was plainly composed under a classicising impulse, perhaps responding to the archaising mood put about in Austro-German music by Adolf Jensen’s Deutsche Suite
, Op 36, written at some point in the 1860s. The English scholar and composer Harold Truscott identified Jensen’s work – in effect, a Baroque French suite, despite the name – as having injected the spirit of the seventeenth century into the middle of the nineteenth. Jensen’s suite would have been a very recent memory when Goldmark sat down to write his; whether or not the influence is direct, the impress of the Baroque on Goldmark’s Op 11 is plain to hear: an Allegro overture (E major), a Bachian Andante sostenuto (in the relative minor, C sharp), a gentle Allegro ma non troppo (E major again) that replaces the minuet with the waltz, a wistful and rather more modern Allegro moderato quasi Allegretto (A major) and a buoyant finale, marked Allegro molto (E major), where the principal melodic idea is what the Germans call an Ohrwurm
, an ear-worm: once heard, it’s not readily forgotten.
from notes by Martin Anderson © 2001