Sonata for Violoncello and Piano, Op.24
Conrad Ansorge's extraordinary Op.24 Cello Sonata dates from 1909. It sounds like nothing else. Powerful and lyrical, it plumbs the heights and the depths of emotion and makes an indelible impression. In three movements, it begins with a Quasi Recitativ introduction in which the cello briefly plays alone. This in turn leads to the massive main section which goes through several tempi transmogrifications and moods. So extraordinary is it, that it could well stand alone. The middle movement is a reflective Adagio which nonetheless has episodes of dramatic climaxes. The finale, Allegretto non troppo ma appassionato, bears much in common with the opening movement as far as tension and moods.
Conrad Ansorge (1862-1930) was born in the then German town of Buchwald, today Bukowka in Poland. He studied piano with Carl Reinecke and compostion with Salomon Jadassohn at the Leipzig Conservatory. However, he did not graduate and instead moved to Weimar so he could study with Franz Liszt. Ansorge became one of the best known touring pianists of his time, performing all over Europe as well as the United States. He subsequently became a professor at several conservatories in Weimar and Berlin. Among his students was Wilhelm Furtwangler. He also founded the Ansorge Verein in Vienna which was dedicated to promoting new music. Among its earliest members were Zemlinsky and Schoenberg. Ansorge wrote in most genres and his chamber music compositions include two string quartets and this cello sonata
Of its kind, this is a masterwork. Any cellist who presents this work in recital is sure to be rewarded by a very appreciative audience. It is a fascinating almost unique work. Long out of print, we are very pleased to make it available once again. We warmly recommend this work to accomplished cellists everywhere.