Violin Sonata G major op. 78
Editor: Hans O. Hiekel
Fingering: Hans-Martin Theopold
Fing. vn: Karl Röhrig
Preface: Wolfgang Sandberger
The Sonata in G major owes its epithet “Rain Song Sonata” to two melodies from Brahms’ “Rain Songs” op. 59 nos. 3 and 4 which are quoted at the beginning of the last movement. An ornamental leaf with the first 24 bars of the “Adagio” was recently re-discovered and has been reproduced as a facsimile in this edition. It shows the connection between the work and Clara Schumann and her youngest son. Felix, Brahms’ godson and a talented violinist, was seriously ill and died before the work was completed. In a letter of dedication on the reverse of the leaf, Brahms expresses his deepest sympathy and his best wishes. This single edition from the volume containing all of Brahms’ violin sonatas (HN 194) contains a preface by Wolfgang Sandberger, illuminating the genesis of the “Felix Sonata”.
What is particularly interesting about this new publication …, is the much longer, detailed and informative Preface. … This publication would seem extremely good value for money – whatever the current exchange rate!
[ESTA – Arco Magazin, 2009]
To mark this significant discovery, Henle has reprinted the sonata with a beautiful sepia facsimile of the sketch/letter. There are two violin parts; an edited version and an urtext one; handy if one wants a part uncluttered by someone else’s fingerings and bowings.