Vieuxtemps is nowadays considered to be the foremost exponent of the Franco-Belgian violin school. Following a concert by the 14-year old “wunderkind” in 1834, none other than Robert Schumann said: “With Henri one can safely close one’s eyes. His playing is like a flower, at the same time both fragrant and bright.” Vieuxtemps was also an excellent viola player and alongside numerous works for violin, also wrote several compositions for its relative. The Sonata op. 36, published in 1862, is one of the gems of viola literature with its oscillation between expressive maestoso, elegiac barcarola and scherzando passages. Our edition is the first ever Urtext edition.
- Viola Sonata B flat major op. 36
When he wrote his Sonata for piano and viola op. 36 in 1860, the Belgian violin virtuoso Henry Vieuxtemps (1820 – 81) had long been a keen practitioner of musical composition. He continued to practice this art with great commitment until the end of his days, leaving to posterity nearly a hundred works. Indeed, as a young man in the 1830s, Vieuxtemps developed a genuine … more
About the composer
A violinist and composer of the Romantic era from Belgium who attained great international fame by his virtuosic playing. He is regarded as the most important representative of the Franco-Belgian violin school. His works include concerti for violin, viola, and cello, solo pieces, and chamber music.
|1820||Born in Verviers on February 17. At age four he receives violin lessons from his father, later from Joseph Lecloux-Dejonc.|
|1827–31||Concert tours take him to Liège and Brussels, among other places. He is accepted into Charles-Auguste de Bériot’s class.|
|1829||In Paris he makes his debut at the Théâtre-Italien with Pierre Rode’s Violin Concerto no. 7 in A minor, op. 9.|
|from 1831||Decades-long concert tours throughout Europe and America help him rise to become the most popular violinist of his age. He meets important contemporaries, including Schumann, Spohr, and Bernhard Molique. He intensifies his studies with Simon Sechter in Vienna.|
|1835–36||He takes composition lessons with Anton Reicha in Paris.|
|1844||He marries Viennese pianist Josephine Eder, who frequently accompanies him at the piano.|
|1846–50||In St. Petersburg he is active as soloist to the Tsar and as professor at the conservatory, where he founds the St. Petersburg school of violin. He composes four violin concerti.|
|1861||He publishes his Violin Concerto no. 5 in A minor, op. 37, one of his best-known works.|
|1871||As professor at the Brussels Conservatoire he teaches, among others, Eugène Ysaÿe.|
|1879||He withdraws from public life for health reasons.|
|1881||Dies in Mustapha, Algeria, on June 6.|
About the authors
Henle's generous edition offers two viola parts; one fingered and bowed by Tabea Zimmermann, both with handy fold-out pages. Violists will eagerly embrace this handsome Urtext publication.