Violin Sonata No.1 in f# minor, Op.20
Fuchs wrote violin sonatas throughout most of his life. This is his first, composed in 1877 and dedicated to Josef Helmesberger, concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Robert Fuchs (1847-1927) was born near the Styrian capital of Graz and attended the University of Vienna Conservatory studying with Otto Dessoff and Joseph Hellmesberger. By 1875, he himself was teaching at the Conservatory, eventually rising to the rank of Professor of Composition. He was one of the most famous and revered teachers of his time. Mahler, Sibelius, Hugo Wolf, Franz Schmidt, Alexander Zemlinsky, Franz Schrecker and Richard Heuberger were among his many students.
The opening movement, Allegro moderato, opens with a lyrical and somewhat elegiac theme main theme, while the second subject is even more cantabile. However, the movement is not without tension and several dramatic climaxes. The Andante which follows is a reflective and highly romantic Lied. The finale, Allegro con fuoco, is a tarantella here and there with a Brahmsian Hungarian tinge to it.
This fine Sonata should be of interest to both professionals and amateurs and will delight recital audiences with its freshness and superbly crafted ideas. It deserves to be part of the late Romantic sonata repertoire.