Robert Schumann (1810-1856), the violin Sonatas
Sonata No. 1 in A minor, Op. 105
I. Mit leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck
Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Große Sonate, Op. 121
I. Ziemlich langsam.
Sehr lebhaft III.
Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Opus Posthumous, WoO2 I.
II. Intermezzo. Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
IV. Finale. Markiertes, ziemlich lebhaftes Tempo.
Schumann's first two violin sonatas, written relatively late in his career, were composed at speed in 1851, a prolific year. But by 1853, when he wrote the third, Schumann was in poor mental health, heading towards the asylum and final breakdown, and it is easy to feel his angstdriven energy. It is said to have been Ferdinand David, concert master of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, that provided the initial impulse to compose chamber works for the violin: ‘I am uncommonly fond of your Fantasiestücke for piano and clarinet; why don’t you write something for violin and piano? … How splendid it would be if you could write something of that kind, that your wife and I could play for you.’ These works have to some extent suffered from the same neglect and incomprehension that other works from this period in the composer's life, but they are coming to light in recent recordings, showing their richness in musical ideas and passion.