Jan Brandts Buys
Violin Sonata in a minor, Op.26
Jan Brandts Buys (1868-1939) came from a long line of professional musicians. His father was an organist in the town of Zutphen in the Netherlands where Jan was born. He studied at the Raff Conservatory in Frankfurt and in 1893 settled in Vienna where he got to know Brahms, who along with Edvard Grieg, praised his early works. His piano concerto won an important international prize and such famous artists as Lilli Lehmann often included his songs on the same program with those of Schubert. He was best known for his comic operas such as The Tailors of Schonau and The Man in the Moon, which gained considerable international acclaim. But he did not ignore chamber music, penning several works various ensembles.
The Sonata dates from 1910 and is in three movements, Allegro, Sehr Langsam and Rondo, presto. It an interesting work for several reasons. Its style is kept quite simple and is clearly influence by folk melody, but these melodies are kept quite short and though they recur often, each time they are accompanied by differing rhythms, which creates a different mood upon each appearance. This effect though not identical is somewhat similar to that which the French impressionists often used and in part the sonata reminds one of Ravel and Debussy.
This fine sonata has been unavailable for the better part of a century. It will make an original recital choice that is sure to leave a strong impression by virtue of its originality.