Heinrich von Herzogenberg
Cello Sonata No.3 in E flat Major, Op.94
"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.3 dates from 1895 and was a wedding present for and dedicated to the cellist of the Joachim Quartet Robert Hausmann. The opening movement, Allegro, begins with a magical theme of hope and great beauty as the cello sings in its tenor register, but interestingly completes it in its deep base quite effectively. The development is darker, but the overall mood is one of serene optimism. The second movement, Andantino, has for its main theme a highly romantic, declarative melody. The livlier middle section serves as an what might be called a relaxed scherzo or an intermezzo, providing fine contrast. The finale, Allegretto moderato, though not so noted, is a theme and set of 6 variations. The theme is serenity itself as is the first variation but the mood changes in each subsequent and fine variation. (our sound-bite presents the theme and 3 variations) A wonderful work 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.