Sonata No.1 in a minor
For Cello or Violin & Piano, Op.42
Carl Reinecke (1824-1910) was born near Hamburg in the town of Altona. As a musician, he was truly a renaissance man, excelling in virtually every area. For three decades, he was considered one of the finest pianists performing before the public. Mendelssohn, Schumann and Liszt, were all very favorably impressed not only with his playing but also his compositions. He was appointed to the position of professor of piano and composition at the prestigious Leipzig Conservatory, where he became one of the most famous teachers in the world considered to have few if any equals. Among his many students were Grieg, Bruch, Janacek, Albeniz, Sinding, Svendsen, Reznicek, Delius, Arthur Sullivan, George Chadwick, Ethel Smyth, Felix Weingartner, Karl Muck and Hugo Riemann. He eventually rose to the position of Director of the Conservatory and also served as the conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra into one of the finest orchestras in the world. As a composer, he produced widely respected and often performed works in every genre running the gamut from opera, to orchestral to chamber music. In his time, Reinecke and his music were unquestionably regarded as first rate. His instrumental sonatas are among his finest works.
The Sonata No.1 in a minor was composed in 1848 and published in 1855 and received considerable critical acclaim. It became so popular that the publisher asked Reinecke to make a version for violin as well. This he did. The opening movement, Allegro moderato, despite its tempo, is very passionate and full of interesting contrasts in tonal color and modulations. The simple but beautiful second movement, Lento ma non troppo, is especially noteworthy for its wonderful treatment of harmony. The third movement, Intermezzo moderato, provides a charming interlude while the finale, Allegro molto ed appassionato, is full of life. Although there is a swing sensation to the rhythm, it maintains a sense of nobility.
Here is a sonata equal in the forefront of romantic era works, equal to those of Mendelssohn. It is unspeakable that it has become lost in the shuffle. We are pleased to make it available and are also happy to be able to present the version for violin as well.