Heinrich von Herzogenberg
Cello Sonata No.1 in a minor, Op.52
"Heinrich von Herzogenberg's three cello sonatas are every bit as good, if not better, than Brahms'. In my opinion, they play better, the balance is better, the piano does not drown out the cello and the writing for the cello is more cellistic and grateful to play. That they disappeared from the repertoire is not only unfathomable but a tragedy...Sonata No.1 dates from 1885, shortly after he was appointed to the prestigious professorship of composition at the Berlin Academy of Music. He dedicated it to his friend, the cellist of the Joachim Quartet Robert Hausmann. The opening movement, Allegro, begins with a series of powerful and thrusting chords which lead to the yearning first theme which continually rises to the heights of great passion. The haunting second movement is an intense Adagio, The finale, Allegro moderato, begins in restless and urgent fashion but is interrupted by dark and brooding interlude. This is a first class sonata, which should, as his others, be in every cellist's repertoire.---R.H.R. Silvertrust, Editor of the Chamber Music Journal
The Austrian composer Heinrich von Herzogenberg (1843-1900) has sometimes been attacked as nothing more than a pale imitation of Brahms, of whom he was a great admirer. There is no denying that his music often shows the influence of Brahms, however, listeners and players alike have discovered that it is original and fresh, notwithstanding the influence of Brahms. Most of his chamber is first rate and Brahms might well have wished he had written some of it. Toward the of his life, Brahms, who was not in the habit of praising other composers publicly, wrote of Herzogenberg, whom he had often harshly criticized in the past, “Herzogenberg is able to do more than any of the others."
Out of for the better part of a century, we are very pleased to reintroduce this fine work and hope that it will be taken up by cellists everywhere.