Classical Music | Music for Duo

Robert Schumann

Violin Sonata No.1 in A Minor, Op.105  Play

Jade Duo Duo

Recorded on 08/10/2016, uploaded on 03/15/2017

Musician's or Publisher's Notes

Schumann wrote his first Sonata for Piano and Violin, Op. 105, between September 12 and 16, 1851, as a response to the request of the concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Ferdinand David. Overall, the work is typical of Schumann’s style of motivic development within the context of standard early nineteenth-century harmonic language.

Marked “mit leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck” (“with passionate expression”), the violin begins the first movement mournfully above an arpeggiated accompaniment. As the intensity increases in this distraught musical narrative, the violin cries in the anguish of something one can only imagine. But through the second theme, the effect retreats to a more ambiguous tension of different emotions, continuing through the development.

The second movement, simply marked Allegretto, begins as a graceful pastorale song in F major. It never strays far from an idyllic setting, hinting occasionally at a moderate two-beat dance with characteristic short-short-long polka rhythms. Built on staggered entrances of small figurations in perpetual motion, the overall effect of the third movement is of obstinacy, interrupted only by brief moments of broken melodicism. In addition to the constant imitation between the piano and violin, there are the requisite fugato intrusions, another token of Schumann’s style.       Zhen Chen