Violin Sonata in G Major, Op.22
Giuseppe Martucci (1856-1909) was born in the southern Italian city of Capua. His father was a bandmaster and gave him his first music lessons on the piano. When it was discovered that the boy was prodigy, he was sent to the Naples Conservatory at the age of 11. Before he could graduate, his father, seeing his son's amazing talent, decided to cash in and started him on a successful concert career. Martucci became well-known as a concert artist throughout Europe and his playing was admired by Liszt among others. However, later when he became of age and gained independence from his father, he worked as a professor at the Naples Conservatory, virtually ending his concert career. Besides being an important teacher, he also became the conductor of the Naples Symphony Orchestra and later the Liceo Musicale Bolognese orchestra. He is recognized as an important late 19th century Italian composer and was considered the leader of the group of Italian composers determined to break away from the dominance of opera in Italy and to restore instrumental music to its rightful place.
The Sonata in G Major dates from 1874. It is a youthful work but shows Martucci in full command of technical skills and his usual fine abundance of appealing melody. The opening theme to the first movement, Allegro appassionato, as well as the lovely second subject bear witness to his melodic gifts. The second movement, Andante con moto, which begins with a beautiful calm theme, in the middle sections rises to tremendous dramatic heights. The exciting finale, Allegro molto e risoluto, is full of elan and moves forward with tremendous rhythmic propulsion, providing a satisfying conclusion to an absolutely first rate work.
Long out of print, there is no question that this work will triumph in the recital hall. We recommend it to professionals and amateurs alike.