Sonata for Violin & Piano in e minor, Op.19
Emilie Mayer (1812-1883) was born in the German town of Friedland. Although she received piano and organ lessons as a child, she did not pursue a musical career as her widowed father needed her to help keep house for him. It was only upon his death at the age of 28 that she pursued formal studies moving to the city of Stettin (since 1945 Szczecin in Poland) where she took composition lessons from Carl Loewe, the City Music Director. Loewe considered her extraordinarily talented and as a result she worked extremely hard, dedicating herself to composition. She was a fairly prolific composer, especially in view of the fact that she started to compose rather late. Among her many works number eight symphonies, six piano trios, two piano quartets, seven string quartets, two string quintets, seven violin sonatas, and twelve cello sonatas.
The Op.19 Sonata in e minor dates from 1867. The huge opening movement, Allegro agitato, immediately takes the listenerís attention with its dramatic and insistent theme, full of forward motion. The music is brimming over with appealing themes, enough for several movements. They are by turns lyrical and romantic and thrusting and full of power. The second movement is a Scherzo. Motion is by way of syncopation. The mood is much the same as the opening of the first movement. It is followed by a beautiful Adagio. The finale, Allegro con brio, is exciting from the first bar to the last.
This is a first rate Romantic era sonata. We feel that it is as good as anything that was written from that time and that it belongs in the front rank of such works and should take its place in the repertoire. Hard to believe that such a compelling work was forgotten. We hope that by making it available once again, it will take its rightful place in recital halls.