Cello Sonata in E Major, Op.26
Jozef Wieniawski's Cello Sonata in E Major, Op.26 dates from 1878 and was dedicated to William III, King of the Netherlands, who neither played the cello nor was a great music lover. It was, as was the standard practice, intended to curry favor with the hopes of some future benefit. The sonata is written on a big scale and is highly romantic. It opens with a very lyrical Allegro maestoso. characterized long-lined singing melodies. The middle movement, Andantino, which Wieniawski also marks con tristezza, begins as a lovely aria but is eventually interrupted by turbulent and dramatic interludes. The finale, Allegro brillante e molto grazioso, is a surprising blend of excitement and grace.
Jozef Wieniawski (1837-1912) was born in the Polish city of Lublin, then part of the Russian empire. Today, if he is remembered at all, it is as the younger brother of the more famous Henryk Wieniawski, one of the most outstanding violinists of all time. However, Jozef, during his lifetime, was one of Europe's best known and leading musicians in his own right. His first lessons were with his mother a fine pianist, a student of Eduard Wolff. At the age of 10, he entered the Paris Conservatory where he studied with Pierre Zimmermann and François Marmontel. Subsequently, a scholarship from the Tsar of Russia enabled him t to study with Franz Liszt. For a while, he performed with his brother Henryk, but then embarked on his own as a touring piano virtuoso and was considered one of the foremost pianists of the time. Liszt thought so well of him that they played duo piano concertos in concert together. Josef knew and was friends with many of the Europe’s leading composers such as Rossini, Gounod, Berlioz and Wagner and was a favorite of several national leaders including Napoleon III and the Tsar. Besides his career as a virtuoso pianist, he was a much sought after conductor and teacher. He served as a professor of piano at both the Moscow Conservatory and the Brussels Conservatory. He did not ignore composition, penning a very successful piano concerto, several other works for piano, as well as a string quartet and this piano trio which were very highly praised.
We have reprinted the original edition , which has been out of print for many years and are pleased to reintroduce this fine work.