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Surprisingly, the repertoire for viola and piano from the nineteenth century is extremely small; the works recorded here are just about the only three to have withstood the test of time.
The Beethoven Notturno is an arrangement (by Franz Xaver Kleinheinz) of the Serenade for string trio, Op 8. The arrangement was sanctioned, albeit somewhat reluctantly, by Beethoven and includes a small amount of expansion and imitative development over the familiar original work. Mendelssohn's Viola Sonata is an early work (1823) and contains the genesis of melodies now more usually associated with his First Symphony and the Variations sérieuses, Op 54. Schumann's Märchenbilder draw their inspiration from the nineteenth-century predilection for fairy-tale and folklore; the four pieces are not based on any particular stories but are linked by a common D tonality and, as the title suggests (Bilder = pictures), give an impression of the ethos behind the fairy-tale fascination of the Romantic era.