Violin Sonata in d minor, Op.12
"How beautiful and how rich in classical musical mastery!"---the violinist David Mannes and founder of the Mannes School of Music when coming upon Rosario Scalero's Violin Sonata.
Rosario Scalero (1870-1954) was born in the Italian town of Moncallieri. He received violin lessons as a boy and entered the Conservatorio St. Cecilia in Torino where he studied with CÚsar Thomson among others. Subsequently, he studied privately with Camillo Sivori, Paganini's only acknowledged student. Sivori suggested Scalero continue his studies while concertizing abroad. This he did, beginning in Germany and eventually settling in London where he took further lessons with the famous virtuoso August Wilhelmj. In 1900, he left London for Vienna, where he became a composition student of Eusebius Mandyczewski at the Vienna Conservatory after which he returned to Rome where he worked as a music director until 1919 when he received an invitation to serve as Professor of Composition at the Mannes School of Music in New York. He then branched out and also taught at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia where Samuel Barber, Gian Carlo Menotti and Nino Rota were among his many students.
His Violin Sonata in d minor, Op.12 was composed in 1910 and was dedicated to Albine Mandyczewski, wife of his composition teacher in Vienna. It was this work that David Mannes came across and was so impressed that he offered Scalero the job at the Mannes School. The sonata is in three movements. In the opening Allegro, the piano states the beautiful and highly romantic theme in a short introduction before the violin takes it over and brings the music to its first climax. There is a constant feeling of restlessness, fluidity and forward motion, but not in the propulsive sense, but more like the steady flowing of a river. The lovely middle movement, Adagio, is quieter but not without its dramatic moments. The main theme to the finale, Vivace, is full of yearning, again there is the continual sense of forward motion, steady and sure.
Long out of print, we are pleased to make this fine sonata available again and believe that it deserves to be heard in the recital hall where it is sure to make a good impression.