Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Largo
Movement 3: Allegro commodo
The Sonata for cello and piano No 2 is dedicated to Frank Rybka, and its character is far removed from that of No 1. Milos Safranék, Martinu’s first biographer, pointed out that it already belonged to the composer’s so-called ‘American period’. By this he no doubt meant that at this time Martinu recognized the need to win over his new public with music that posed fewer stylistic problems and did not strike too deeply into their complex personal psyches; not that this sonata is superficial – it poses many technical problems, particularly of rhythm – merely that its three movements occupy a sunnier, more equable landscape than that of No 1. It is quite believable that it held its own in a programme with Brahms’s Sonata in E minor at its premiere on 27 March 1942 when it was played by Lucien Laporte and Elly Bontempo.
from notes by Kenneth Dommett © 1989