Louis Glass

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Violin Sonata No.1 in E flat Major, Op.7

Louis Glass (1864-1936) was born in Copenhagen. He was almost an exact contemporary of Carl Nielsen and like Nielsen was a student of Niels Gade. However, Glass also studied at the Brussels Conservatory where he became enamored of the music of Cesar Franck and Anton Bruckner, both of whom stylistically influenced his writing. For several years, he was one of Denmark’s leading concert pianists until a paralysis in one arm made him retire from the stage. He then devoted himself primarily to composing. He composed in most genres and wrote wrote several chamber music works of worth.


Glass's First Violin Sonata dates from 1888. It is throughout a bright and lyrical work with each of the four movements being in major keys. While not a cyclical work per se, nonetheless there are motivic cross-relationships. Within the sonata, many influences can be heard. For example in the melodies of the first movement the influence of Gade and Robert Schumann can be heard. But as the work progresses, though it remains essentially late romantic in idiom, we begin to hear the influence of both Franck and Bruckner. While this complex mixture does not create an entirely new result, it nonetheless produces a very interesting and attractive work.


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