Violin Sonata No.6 "Appassionata" in d minor, Op.116
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.
Huber's Sixth Violin Sonata was completed in the late 1890's. It is a very large work in three movements and with its cadenzas for the violin might almost be called a chamber concerto, intended for the recital hall rather than the concert hall. Huber himself subtitled the work "Appassionata". It was intended for his performing partner and friend Adolf Bargheer, former concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. The big first movement, Un poco Adagio-Allegro appassionato comes the closest to the concerto format with lengthy slow sections sandwiches between powerful, faster sections. The music reaches a dramatic high point with a brief cadenza. A beautiful Adagio, with a remarkable three part fugual section follows. The work is topped off by a brilliant final movement, Allegro con fuoco.
This masterful sonata makes an absolutely superb choice for the recital hall. It is fresh and undeservedly unknown. It belongs in the repertoire. Long out of print, we are pleased to make it available once again.