Violin Sonata No.2 in E Major, Op.37
Zygmunt Stojowski (1870-1946) was born in the Polish town of Strzelce. He studied piano and composition at the Krakow Conservatory with Wladyslav Zelenski and later at the Paris Conservatory with Louis Diemer, Leo Delibes and Theodore Dubois. He also studied privately with Ignacy Paderewski. Stojowski lived in Paris from 1888 to 1906, gaining a reputation as a world concert class pianist and also as a fine composer. In 1906, he was invited to teach in New York at the Institute of Musical Art (which later became the Juilliard Music School). He spent the rest of his life in the United States, where he became one of the most sought after piano teachers. Most of Stojowski's music was for the piano, however, he did compose two violin sonatas and a cello sonata.
Sonata No.2 dates from 1912 and was composed while he was teaching at the Institute. It was dedicated to a fellow faculty member, Arthur Argiewicz, a Polish violin virtuoso. The work received considerable acclaim and for many years was in the repertoire of Georges Enescu when he still gave violin recitals. Sadly, because it is surely one of the best early modern violin sonatas, it has languished since the composer's death.
The opening movement, Allegro affetuoso, begins with romantic melody, characterized by its lovely chromaticism. Relaxed and genial, it charms effortlessly. The second movement, Intermezzo, begins as a canon with the piano leading, the violin following. The first theme is light and upbeat. This is followed by a more lyrical theme which changes the mood and even has a brief nightmare moment of crashing chords, before the orderly dance is restored. The third movement, Arietta, begins in a sad vein as the violin brings forth a lovely plaint. The boisterous finale, Allegro giocoso, has a mischievous introduction, which leads to a proud, rhythmic folk dance. The second theme is more subdued by every bit as appealing. The violin and piano sound as if they were made for each other.
We believe that this fine sonata will be a certain winner at recitals and strongly recommend it to amateurs and professionals alike. We are pleased to make it available once again and hope that it will find a home on many music stands.