Sonata for Violin & Piano in a minor, Op.61
Józef Szulc (1875-1956) was born in Warsaw. He received piano lessons in Warsaw from Moritz Moszkowski and Ignacy Paderewski and studied composition with Zygmunt Noskowski and then moved to Paris and studied with Jules Massenet. He helod various conducting positions in Germany, Belgium and France and became a highly successful light opera composer.
His Op.61 Violin Sonata was composed in Paris dates from 1906. It is in four movements and opens with a melodically fluid Allegro ma non troppo. Yet the contrast between its various moods is always sudden and unexpected making it quite interesting. The second movement, Andante sostenuto, begins with a quiet, waltz-like theme. The second subject creates a strong rhythmic contrast. Here dynamics are used to create dramatic tension. Next comes a scherzo, Presto ma non troppo. It is a cross between two traditional Polish folk dances, the Oberek and the Mazurka. The finale, Allegro assai, combines rustic, dance-like episodes with an intriguing misterioso section.
Here is another original sounding violin sonata which beautifully presents the trends of early 20th century combining post-Brahmsian romanticism with neo-romanticism and a certain light playfulness. This is a fine work which deserves to heard in recital