Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major, Op.1
Witold Maliszewski's Violin Sonata dates 1900 at which time he was a graduate student of Rimsky-Korsakov. It was published two years later. Written on a large scale, the sonata is in the late romantic genre. The opening movement, Allegro cantabile, is written in the lucid and transparent style which Korsakov demanded of his students, but melodically, the music does not resemble that of his teacher and is closer to Glazunov. The deeply felt, but calm middle movement, Adagio molto, has an epic melody for its main subject. The real tour d'force is the finale, Tema con variazione. It is as long as the two preceding movements together and could easily have been a stand alone piece. The seven marvelous variations, each very different in mood and style, could serve as a model of its type. In the sixth variation, Maliszewski quotes the theme from the famous Andante cantabile of Tchaikovsky's First String Quartet.
Witold Maliszewski (1873-1939) was born in the town of Mohyliv-Podilskyi, then part of Russian Poland now located in Ukraine. His initial studies were at the Imperial Conservatory in Tiflis (now Tbilisi) with Mikhail Ivanov-Ippolotov. He then attended the St. Petersburg Conservatory where he studied with Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov. In 1908, he obtained the position of conductor of the Odessa Symphony Orchestra. He was active in Odessa until 1920 and was a founder and first director of the Odessa Conservatory. Due to the Russian Revolution, he moved to Warsaw in 1920 where he held several positions, including Professor of Composition at the Warsaw Conservatory. He composed in most genres and his chamber music was held in particularly high regard, winning several competition prizes.
An incredible Opus 1! This sonata belongs in the very front rank of works from its period. It belongs in the repertoire and any violinist who presents it in recital is sure to be richly rewarded. Long out of print, we are hopeful that it will find a place on your music stand.