Viola Sonata in g minor, Op.67
When it was published in 1876, the respected Berlin Musical Paper Echo called Kiel's Op.67 Viola Sonata "One of the most interesting new compositions in the field of chamber music." The famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann hailed it as "A really magnificent work," and describes it as follows:
"The first movement, Allegro, opens with ab appealing theme which returns again at the end of the movement and again in the close of the finale. The second movement, Scherzo, is quite graceful, while the contrasting middle section is melancholy and emotional. A lovely Andante comes next and leads to the finale, Allegro molto, which opens with a merry hunting song. Then comes an exquisite melody with a passionate recitative. The stringed instrument is treated with great skill and is never overwhelmed by the piano."
Kiel (1821-1885) was something of a prodigy, he played the piano almost without instruction at the age of six. He was equally as talented on the violin, and by his thirteenth year he had composed much music. Kiel eventually had the opportunity to study in Berlin with the renowned theorist and teacher Siefried Dehn. In Berlin, he became sought after as a teacher and obtained a professorship at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, one of the finest music schools in Germany. Among his many students were Noskowski, Paderewski and Stanford.
This viola sonata is of the very first rank. Every violist, professional nor amateur, will welcome this outstanding work. Out of print for more than a century, we are pleased to make it available once again. (Note: Kiel arranged this work for cello and violin as well. It has only been recorded once and that in the arrangement for cello which we nonetheless believe gives an excellent idea of the work)