Violin Sonata in f minor, Op.10
Woldemar Bargiel (1828-97) studied at the famous Leipzig Conservatory with two of the leading men of music: Ignaz Moscheles (piano) and Niels Gade (composition). He taught at the conservatories in Cologne and Rotterdam before accepting a position at the prestigious Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin where he taught for the rest of his life. Among his many students were Paul Juon and Leopold Godowsky. Besides teaching and composing, Bargiel served with Brahms as co-editor of the complete editions of Schumannís and Chopinís works. His chamber music represents an important part of his output and was held in high regard.
The Op.10 Violin Sonata in f minor dates from 1854 and was dedicated to the famous violinist, Joseph Joachim. It is, in its way, a highly unusual work. The sonata, at times gloomy, is full of powerful passion which almost rises to an orchestral level. The recent news that his friend and mentor, Robert Schumann, had just suffered a nervous breakdown, no doubt had a strong effect on him. The opening Allegro has a stormy Beethovian theme and is quite dramatic. Brief peace comes with the more lyrical second subject. The Andante sostenuto which comes next is clear an homage to Robert Schumann. In the Allegro molto finale, we hear much of the same frenetic energy heard in the opening movement, again nearly breaking the bounds of chamber music.
This is an extraordinary work from the mid-romantic era which will not fail to make a strong impression in the recital hall and can be recommended to both professionals and experienced amateur players.