Felix Draeseke: Sonata in B Flat Major for Violin and Piano, Op. 38

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SONATA IN B FLAT MAJOR FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO, Op. 38

1st Movement: Allegro moderato
2nd Movement: Adagio ma non troppo
3rd Movement: Scherzo; Allegro molto vivace (Presto)
4th movement: Allegro con brio

The alternate version of this Sonata in B flat major, Op. 38 for violin and piano is exactly that: an alternate version the Clarinet Sonata, Op. 38. Draeseke prepared it at the same time as the clarinet version. It was not requested by a publisher and the only deviations from the clarinet part are in reference to lower register notes not accommodated by violin tuning, and limited use of double-stops: for whatever reason, Draeseke employs no pizzicati. The piano part, obviously, is unchanged. This alternate violin version has not been neglected over the years and while it has never achieved a repertoire status equivalent to, say the Second Sonata in D major for Violin and Piano, Op. 94bis of Prokofiev - the alternate version of that composer's only flute sonata - it has been performed steadily through the years, if unobtrusively. As the author writes this, it occurs to him that his encounters with Draeseke's Op. 38 in the concert hall thus far total three, two of which have featured the violin version - an irony of place, not of preference.

Score to the violin sonataOnce the listener has become acquainted with the clarinet version, the few specifically violinistic concessions are easy to spot. Foremost are the double-stops in measures 53-70 and 90-94 in the first movement and flageolets towards its end. Measures 23-30 of the second movement let the music soar an octave higher than the clarinet. There is nothing in the Scherzo that is changed. The Finale, however, does bring a noticeable alteration in measures 64-68 and 160-164: in the clarinet version the clarinet is silent while the piano displays a bit of bravura; in these same measures the violin is given double-stops to reinforce the broken chords on the piano.

Draeseke's Sonata in B flat major for Violin and Piano, Op. 38 on CD:
 

Click to go to AK/Coburg recordingsAKCoburg DR0003

Felix Draeseke: Violin Sonata in B flat op 38; Scene for Violin & Piano op 69; Clarinet Sonata in B flat op 38; Nanette Schmidt [violin], Martin Nitschmann [clarinet], Wolfgang Müller-Steinbach [piano]

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