Violin Sonata No.4 in A flat Major
Benjamin Godard’s Violin Sonata No.4 in A flat Major dates from 1872. Of his four sonatas, this was the one which was most often heard in recital. It opens with a warm and highly romantic Vivace ma non troppo. A sad and somwehat spooky scherzoesque Allegro vivace ma non troppo follows. The third movement, a lovely Andante, sports long lined cantabile melodies. The finale, Allegro molto, is restless and full of forward motion and yearning.
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 sonata makes an excellent choice for the recital hall and can be recommended to experienced amateurs. Out of print for many years, we are pleased to make it available once again.