Violin Sonata No.2 in a minor, Op.26
Robert Kahn wrote three violin sonatas, each separated by ten years. Violin Sonata No.2 in a minor dates from 1896 and was dedicated to Carl Halir, second violinist in the Joachim Quartet and a soloist in own right as well as Kahn’s frequent partner in violin sonata recitals. The sonata is in three movements and exhibits a vocal quality, perhaps due to the fact that he had been concentrating on writing lieder during the preceding years. It opening Allegro begins in dramatic fashion. A second subject is more lyrical. The second movement, Adagio ma non troppo, begins with a moderato introduction. The main section, though not so marked is a set of variations. The stunning finale, Allegro non troppo, ma con fuoco e poco capriccio is a highly original melding of lyricism with energetic dance themes and fusing them into a caprice like structure.
Robert Kahn (1865-1951) was born in Mannheim of a well-to-do banking family. He began his studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. There, he got to know and became friends with Joseph Joachim who was the director. It was through both Joachim and his own family that he had a chance to get to know Brahms, who was so impressed with Kahn that he offered to give him composition lessons. However, Kahn was too overawed to accept. Nevertheless, Brahms did help Kahn informally, and while Kahn's work does, to some extent, show the influence of Brahms, he is an eclectic and independent composer whose music has its own originality. After finishing his studies in Berlin, Kahn, on Brahms' suggestion, went to Munich to study with Joseph Rheinberger. After completing his own studies, he worked for a while as a free lance composer before obtaining a position at the Hochschule in Berlin where he eventually became a professor of piano and composition.
This substantial sonata is fine addition to the late romantic repertoire for violin and piano. Long out of print, we are very pleased to make it available once again in hopes that it will soon appear in recital halls.