Cello Sonata in e minor, Op.46
Franz Xaver Scharwenka (1850-1924) was born in the small town of Samter near what is now the Polish city of Poznan (German Posen) in what was then part of Prussia. He learned to play the piano at an early age and his extraordinary talent was clear to all. At 15, he moved with his family to Berlin, where he studied with Theodore Kullak, one of the most renowned piano teachers of his day. He also received instruction in composition. Subsequently, he began touring as a concert pianist and was widely regarded as one of the best then performing. He founded two conservatories, one in Berlin and another in New York and composed in nearly every genre.
The Cello Sonata dates from the mid 1880's and is in three movements. The opening Allegro ma non troppo, after a highly dramatic declamatory introduction in the cello, is dominated by the rather dark hued, but rich main theme. The sunny Andante which follows, with its broad-lined, flowing melody, is essentially tranquil and calm. The middle section, closely related in mood, has a brooding quality. The finale, Vivace ma non troppo, is in E Major and serves as affirmation--full of energy and positive emotions.
It was widely acclaimed and performed frequently up until the First World War when Scharwenka's music, like that of so many other fine composers from the romatic era, disappeared. This is a first class work which amateurs and professionals can be proud to bring to recital. Out of print for many decades, we are pleased to make it available once again.