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Violin Sonata in C Sharp Minor Op.21
 Composed by Dohnanyi, Ernst
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Dohnányi: Violin Sonata in C Sharp Minor Op.21 (1912)

Dohnányi’s connection with Brahmsian compositional precepts were further enhanced during his years teaching at the Hochschule in Berlin (1905-1915) where Brahms’s old friend, the violinist Joachim, had invited him to join the staff. The direct nature of the opening of the Violin Sonata in C sharp minor, its fastidious craftsmanship and the clarity of its formal outline may indeed owe something to Brahms, but the melodic writing and the flexible tonal palette are entirely characteristic of Dohnányi’s developing compositional voice. Composed in 1912, the sonata contains several pointers towards the more experimental musical language of his second piano quintet composed just two years later. After a predominantly serious first movement, held skillfully together by its memorable opening idea, the Allegro ma con tenures has a delightfully blithe and playful quality. The concluding Vivace assai arrives hot on the heels of this interlude. Although it begins in heaven-storming fashion it often relaxes into attractively shaded episodes which, in a sonata without a slow movement, provide the necessary contrast to the surging energies of the majority of work.

©Jan Smaczny
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