Sonata in c minor for Viola (or Violin) and Piano, Op.10
Alexander Winkler (1865-1935) was born in the then Russian city of Kharkov (today Kharkiv in the Ukraine) He studied piano and composition locally and then in Moscow and St. Petersburg. He continued his studies in Paris and Vienna before returning to Kharkov where he taught piano for a number of years before being appointed to a professorship at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Sergei Prokoviev was among his many students. In 1924, he emigrated to France and served as director of the Conservatory in Besancon.
Winklerís Op.10 Sonata in c minor, which dates from 1902 was originally composed for viola and piano, but he also produced a version for violin and piano as well. The work is in 3 movements although the trio section to the second movement, might almost be a movement in itself. The opening movement, Moderato, is characterized by a sense of agitation which is created in part by accents falling on what are usually considered the so-called weak beats of the measure. The second movement, Allegro agitato, is in the form of a scherzo. As the marking suggests, it too is agitated. The trio section is more relaxed. The last movement, Variations on an Breton Air, begins with the theme and is followed by 7 contrasting variations and a fiery coda. (our soundbite presents the theme and three of the variations)
This a major contribution to the viola repertoire and should not be missed by either professional or amateur violists. The version for violin is equally effective and should not be over looked by violinists. Long out of print, we are pleased to make it available again.