Violin Sonata No.5 in a minor, Op.61
Sjögren's last sonata for violin and piano, Violin Sonata No.5 in a minor, Op.61, dates from 1913. Although several years had passed, the style is similar to that of his Fourth Sonata. The first of its four movements, Andante sostenuto ed espressione--Allegro con anima, begins with a sad, relatively short, slow introduction which leads immediately to the very dramatic, dark-hued Allegro. The second movement, Scherzo vivacissimo, relies on its rhythm to create a light, playful mood. A highly romantic middle section provides interesting contrast. The beautiful main theme of the Andante con mobile, which follows is tinged with a reflective sadness. The finale, Allegro giocoso, though full of bustle retains a sentimental , autumnal air for quite sometime. Only later does the music become more jocular.
Emil Sjögren (1853-1918) was trained as an organist and studied composition in Stockholm and Berlin. He made his career as an organist and many of his compositions are for that instrument. Today he is primarily remembered as a composer of songs, however, his works for solo piano as well as for violin and piano were very well thought of, and before the First World War, often performed in concert.
Like his four other violin sonatas, No.5 is also a first class work, worthy of inclusion on recital programs. Long out of print, we are pleased to make it available once again.