Violin Sonata No.1 in A Major, Op.7
Paul Juon (1872-1940) was the son of Swiss parents who emigrated to Moscow where he was born. Educated at the Moscow German High School, he entered the Moscow Conservatory where he studied violin with Jan Hrimaly and composition with Anton Arensky and Sergei Taneyev. After graduating, he went to Berlin for further composition instruction from Woldemar Bargiel (we have published Bargiel's Piano Trio No.1). In 1906, after holding various posts in Russia, Juon was invited by Joseph Joachim head, of the prestigious Berlin Hochschule für Musik, to be a Professor of Composition. It was a post he held until 1934 at which time he moved to Switzerland, where lived for the rest of his life.
During his lifetime, Juon was widely regarded as an important composer and his works were given frequent performance throughout Europe. Chamber music plays a large part of his total output which numbers more than 100 works.
Juon’s First Violin Sonata dates from 1898. In three movements, the opening movement begins with an Andante quasi moderato but quickly becomes an Allegro. While the music shows some influence of Brahms in its rhythms but the melodies are Russian. The middle movement is a theme and set of six wonderfully contrasting variations. One of the variations, entitled Romance, became so famous that it was published separately. (Our soundbite presents 3 variations, the third is the Romance) The finale is a kind of updated toccata clearly based on Russian folk melody.
Here is a long unavailable but first rate work from start to finished. We are pleased to reintroduce it and hope that professionals and amateurs alike will give it a chance on their music stands.