Violin Sonata No.2 in C Major, Op.50
Friedrich Gernsheim (1839-1916) is a composer whose music was held in the highest regard by his colleagues and critics during his lifetime. Brahms and Max Bruch were among the many who were admirers. Gernsheim, somewhat of a piano and violin virtuoso as a child, was eventually educated at the famous Leipzig Conservatory where he studied piano with Ignaz Moscheles and violin with Ferdinand David. After graduating, he continued his studies in Paris, getting to know Saint SaŽns, Lalo, Liszt and Rossini. Despite his admiration for France and the French, he returned to Germany and during the course of his life, he held academic and conducting positions in Cologne, Rotterdam and finally Berlin. Gernsheim wrote in most genres and chamber music occupied him thoughout his life. He has five string quartets, four piano trios, three piano quartets and two piano quintets to his credit as well as numerous instrumental sonatas.
So in Gernsheim, we have a composer who was both a first rate pianist and violinist which explains the very high level of his four violin sonatas. Sonata No.2 dates from 1885 and is in three movements. The opening Allegro moderato begins with leisurely with a calm, noble melody. It conjures up broad horizons. The middle movement, Andante sostenuto, begins with the piano stating a lovely, very romantic arioso-like melody over a soft accompaniment in the violin. Only very gradually, almost imperceivibly takes over the thematic material. The finale, Allegro energico, begins impetuously with the violin playing insistent notes on the off-beat, creating a tension and forward drive. Later a triumphant, Brahmsian, second subject is heard.
Out of print and unavailable for well over a century we are pleased to make this fine romantic era sonata available once again. It will make an excellent choice for a recital.