Brahms: Viola Sonatas Op.120, 2 Gesänge Op.91

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Composer: Johannes Brahms
Artists: Sara Mingardo alt
Luca Sanzò viola
Maurizio Paciariello piano

About this Album:
Brahms had already declared to his long-suffering publisher Simrock that he was done with the business of composition before producing these, his final pieces of chamber music. He was inspired by the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld, a player in the court orchestra of Meiningen, where Hans von Bülow conducted the composer’s music including all the symphonies. Mühlfeld’s breath control and superb melodic sensitivity evidently reawakened in the composer the long-breathed melodies which mark out his chamber music throughout his career, but Brahms soon declared that the sonatas could just as well be played on the viola, perhaps with one eye on his royalties from Simrock, but violists have been glad to seize on their ‘own’ Brahms ever since.
Melancholy is perhaps inevitably the major key of both sonatas – Brahms had been drawn to express autumnal loneliness even 40 years before – but they are not gloomy works, and are built with undimmed ingenuity as masterfully organic structures in which the usual contrast of first and second themes is forsaken for the kind of continuous variation which Arnold Schoenberg could justly and admiringly describe as ‘musical prose’.

00:00:00 Violin Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 120: I. Allegro appassionato
00:08:32 Violin Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 120: II. Andante un poco adagio
00:13:20 Violin Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 120: III. Alegretto grazioso
00:18:11 Violin Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 120: IV. Vivace
00:23:44 2 Gesänge, Op. 91: I. Gestillte Sehnsucht
00:29:53 2 Gesänge, Op. 91: II. Geistliches Wiegenlied
00:35:25 Violin Sonata No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 120: I. Allegro amabile
00:44:14 Violin Sonata No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 120: II. Allegro appassionato
00:50:13 Violin Sonata No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 120: III. Andante con moto

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