Franz Xaver Hammer
Sonata No.4 in f minor for Viola and Piano
Franz Xaver Hammer (1741-1817) was born in the German town of Oettingen. He studied the viola da gamba and the cello and became a well-known performer on both. During the 1770's he served under Haydn as a cellist in Prince Esterhazy's orchestra and afterwards held several appointments at very German courts. Most of his compositions, few of which have survived were for either the viola da gamba or cello. His reputation today rests upon a set of sonatas written for the gamba which are written more or less in the style of the baroque.
This sonata was originally the fourth of a set of six for the viola da gamba. In the 19th century, violists looking to add to their meager repertoire adapted many works, originally written for the gamba. Several editions of some of Hammer's gamba sonatas starting appearing as early as 1850. Probably, the best ever made were by the well-known German violist Clemens Meyer Our edition is based on his, although we have corrected a few mistakes. The Sonata, in the style of the baroque, makes excellent use of the instrument and is in three movements, Moderato, Adagio cantabile and Rondeau.
Long unavailable, this sonata makes a useful addition for violists looking for recital works from the late baroque era.