Cello Sonata in a minor, Op.10
Ludomir Růżycki (1883-1953) was born in Warsaw. His father was a professor at the conservatory there and Ludomir received a thorough musical education there studying composition with the important late 19th century Polish composer, Zygmunt Noskowski. After graduating, he moved to Berlin where he continued his studies with Engelbert Humperdinck. He then pursued a career as both a conductor and teacher holding posts in Lvov and Warsaw. Along with Karol Szymanowski and Grzegorz Fitelberg, he was a founder of Young Poland, a group of composers whose goal was to move Polish music into the modern era. Although he was primarily known for his operas, he did not ignore chamber music, most of which was written during his so-called first period wherein his music remained traditionally tonal.
The Op.10 Cello Sonata dates from 1910 while he was in Berlin. It is written in a neo-romantic style. The writing for the cello takes full advantage of the instrumentís lyrical quality while the piano part alternates between widely spread and block chords. While the writing is modernist the treatment of the cello harks to its classical use. The impetuous first movement, Allegro molto, exhibits a constantly changing rhythmic patterns and very interesting use of harmony. The middle movement, Andante, begins in a reflective mood and is complimented by a restless middle section. The finale, Allegro molto, in contrast to the preceding two movements, exhibits a rhythmic simplicity and expressiveness.
This is a fine example of post-romanticism and the emerging modernism.