Sonata for Violin & Piano in D Major, Op.6
Franciszek Brzeziński (1867-1944) was born in Warsaw. He received piano lessons as a child but initially studied law at the university in Dresden before continuing his music studies at the Leipzig Conservatory, where he studied composition with Max Reger. Back in Warsaw, he continued his piano studies with Jan Kleczinski. He had a multi-faceted career as a lawyer, journalist, music critic, music biographer and composer. He was not a prolific composer and most of his works were for piano.
His Op.6 Violin Sonata dates from 1909. It is a work in the neo-romantic tradition but is also au current with modernist trends of the time. It is in three movements and highly original in its mode of expression. The opening Allegro moderato is characteristic of the work combining simplicity of the thematic material with complex tonal texture. The main theme is a genial and leisurely subject while the second theme is a simple mazurka which receives an intricate treatment of the sort Reger might have given, although the tonality is different. The same is true of the way he treats the well-known Polish folk tune Wlazl kotek (Kitty on the Fence). The middle movement, Largo, has a quasi recitativo dramatico opening section which is followed by an original treatment of Polish folk melody. The lively finale, Vivace, again uses Polish folk melody for its thematic material which is expressed in the neo-romantic fashion.
This is a very original sounding sonata which beautifully presents the trends of early 20th century neo-romanticism and modernism in a highly appealing manner. Certainly, it will make a very good impression in recital where it deserves to be heard.