Cello Sonata in G Major (1910)-World Premiere
"Mittler was one of the greats as far as his compositional talent is concerned."---So wrote the respected musicologist Irene Suchy.
Franz Mittler (1893-1970) was born in Vienna. As a boy he was given violin and piano lessons, the later with the famous pedagogue Theodore Leschitzky. At the Vienna Conservatory, he studied theory with Joseph Labor and composition with Richard Heuberger and Karl Prohaska. Mittler made a name for himself not only as a composer, but also as a poet and humorist. During the 1920ís, he became one of the most sought after lieder accompanists, partnering with such famous singers as Leo Slezak and Charlotte Kraus. He also made a name for himself as a chamber music pianist, joining forces with such groups as the world famous Rosť String Quartet. Of Jewish extraction, Mittler left Austria for New York in 1938 when the Nazis seized power. In the United States, Mittler enjoyed a varied career, performing chamber music on the radio, teaching, writing for Hollywood and television. (He composed a one finger polka for Groucho Marx) Eventually, he returned to Europe in 1964 and spent his final years teaching at the famed Mozarteum in Salzburg.
The Cello Sonata dates from 1910. The big opening Allegro moderato has for its main theme, a relaxed and genial melody. The development takes the cello into its tenor registers where the music rises to a dramatic climax before the melancholy second theme makes its appearance. The main theme of the second movement, Andante, is a dark and moody subject. As it travels upward in pitch it becomes somewhat sunnier until a restatement brings back the original mood but also brings a riveting dramatic climax. The finale, Allegro, clears the sadness from the air with its optimistic theme.
Although performed in European cities immediately after it was composed, this sonata was never published. Now with the help of Professor Diana Mittler Battipaglia, the composer's daughter, whom made the parts available to us, we proudly present the world premiere edition of this very fine romantic cello sonata.