Elegie No.1 for Violin & Piano, Op.143
During the third quarter of the 19 century, when the French only seemed interested in opera, Camille Saint-SaŽns (1835-1921), almost single-handedly, attempted to make the case for chamber music, which so many of his countrymen continued to think of as something German. Although famous for his larger orchestral works and instrumental concertos, he devoted a great deal of time and effort to writing chamber music. Not only does he have two string quartets to his credit, but he also wrote three works for piano trio, a quintet for piano, two violins, viola and cello, but also sonatas and instrumental works.
Saint-SaŽns' First Elegie for Violin and Piano was composed in 1915. It is an intimate work that has an unsettled quality which is created by the composers use of frequent modulations and tonal ambiguity. Slowly, the music changes mood and becomes quite bright and then bursts forth unexpectedly in dramatic passion.
This fine work would certainly be a success in the recital hall and would make a welcome addition to any violinist's library.