Violin Sonata No.2 in B flat Major, Op.42
Hans Huber (1852-1921) was born in the Swiss town of Eppenberg. Between 1870-74, he studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Carl Reinecke and Ernst Richter. After graduating he held a number of positions before being appointed a professor at the Basel Conservatory, where he served as director between 1889-1917. Huber’s music was firmly rooted in the Romantic movement inspired at first by Schumann and Brahms and then later by Liszt and Richard Strauss. He was widely considered Switzerland’s leading composer during the last quarter of the 19th and first decade of the 20th century. He composed in virtually every genre and many of his works were for long years part of various repertoires and the only works by a Swiss composer that were regularly performed outside of Switzerland.
Although Huber's Second Violin Sonata is an early work, it dates from 1878, it is nonetheless a work of the highest caliber and the wealth of musical ideas and the textured writing truly amazes. The opening movement, In ruhiger, elegaisch stimmung--in a calm, elegiac mood---has for its first theme a melody taken from his own song, "Der Himmel hat kein Sterne so klar (the sky has no star so bright)" The music is lyrical, almost religious in character with long-lined melodies bubbling forth as if from a geyser. The second movement, Nicht zu rasch aber fliessend (not to fast, but flowing) is a scherzo, light and playful, virtuosic and witty. The third movement, Langsam, rhapsodisch, gehalten (slow and in a rhapsodic fashion) superbly combines many conflicting moods, by turns passionate, nostalgic and sad, full of suppressed emotions. The brilliant finale, Mit feuer und Schwung (with fire and vigor) is lyrical, impassioned and dreamlike.
This is truly a masterwork which had it been written by a "Name" would sure have been a staple in the recital repertoire. Long out of print, we are pleased to make it available once again. We warmly recommend this work to accomplished violinists everywhere.