Violin Sonata No.7 "Graziosa" in G Major, Op.119
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 Seventh Violin Sonata was completed in 1902. It is a written on a large scale with its lyrical episodes juxtaposed with virtuosic and highly dramatic interludes. It is rather unusual in that it begins and ends with passages for unaccompanied violin. The opening movement, Allegro ma non troppo, begins with a subtle theme which gradually builds to a powerful climax, which is then followed by a development which is full of turbulence and a sense of anxiety. The middle movement, Allegretto moderato, is light and bright and serves as kind of scherzo. The hugh finale, Allegro commodo, runs the full gamut of moods and expression. Much of the writing is full of charm and grace, which appears to have been the reason Huber subtitled the Sonata 'Graziosa'. But the music is also not without exciting drive and passion.
Another absolutely first rate late romantic era sonata, really quite as good as anything from this period. It certainly belongs in the recital hall, where it sure to triumph. Listeners are sure to wonder why it is unknown. It belongs in the repertoire. Long out of print, we are pleased to make it available once again.