Violin Sonata No.2 in E flat Major, Op.102
Violin Sonata No.2 in E flat Major was completed in 1896 some eleven years after he had completed No.1. While the first sonata is highly romantic, the Second is more classically inspired. The opening theme to the first movement, Poco Allegro, has a Beethovian aura to it, almost as if Saint-SaŽns were trying to recreate the classical violin sonata in an updated format. The structure of the following Scherzo is straight forward and the trio section shows the composerís interest in counterpoint. A lovely Andante comes next, which in its middle section has its own miniature scherzo. The finale, Allegro grazioso, is characterized by its free ranging and unexpected modulations.
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.