Violin Sonata No.2 in a minor, Op.2
Benjamin Godard's Violin Sonata No.2 in a minor was composed immediately after his first at the end of 1866 and start of 1867. It represents a surprising advance given that it followed on the heels of No.1. It is a mature work in every way.The work opens with a short Andante which leads to a searching Allegro, which at the same time shows great lyricism. The second movement, marked Intermezzo, is in actuality a fleet and highly effective scherzo vivace. A brooding and tonally dark Andante quasi adagio is at the same time full deep feeling. The finale, Allegro, begins in upbeat, bright fashion but soon runs into exciting turbulence.
Benjamin Godard (1849-95) was born in Paris. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire composition with Reber and violin with Henri Vieuxtemps. He was somewhat of a prodigy on that instrument, as well as on the viola, and accompanied Vieuxtemps to Germany on concert tours on two occasions. Godard enjoyed chamber music and played in several performing ensembles. This experience stood him good stead when it came to writing effective chamber music compositions. In 1878, Godard was the co-winner with Théodore Dubois, head of the Paris Conservatory, of a musical competition instituted by the city of Paris. He composed music with great facility and from 1878 up to the time until his death Godard composed a surprisingly large number of works, including the opera Jocelyn, from which the famous "Berceuse" has become perhaps his best known work. He also composed several symphonic works, ballets, concertos, overtures and chamber music, including three string quartets, two piano trios and four violin sonatas.
This is as fine a French mid Romantic violin sonata as you will find. We warmly recommend it for recital and are sure it will make a strong impression on those who hear it. Out of print for many years, we are pleased to make it available once again.