Violin Sonata No.3 in E Major, Op.50
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.
Robert Kahn wrote three violin sonatas, each separated by ten years. Violin Sonata No.3 in E Major dates from 1906. The work begins rather unusually with a dual movement. The main part of the movement is rather slow, an Andante sostenuto, in mood sad and reflective but not tragic. It is interspersed by Presto interludes, which with their frenetic pace provide excellent contrast. The middle movement is an upbeat scherzo, Allegro molto vivace. The finale, Adagio—allegro energico, is long than the first two movements put together.. It opens with a lengthy adgio section, quiet but of great emotional intensity. There follows a powerful and dramatic allegro. The work is brought to a close by another adagio which sums up the entire work.
This is another important sonata which ought to be in the repertoire. Long out of print, we are very pleased to make it available once again in hopes that it will soon appear in recital halls.