Richard Strauss Violin Sonata Analysis

Good Essays
Zhang Zhou Yaodong Professor Greg Peterson Classical styles and romantic spirits 2 November 2016 Richard Strauss Violin Sonata Richard Strauss (1864-1949), was a leading German composer and conductor. His orchestral compositions and operas have made him one of the best known composers of the late Romantic and early modern eras. While Strauss did not pay much attention to his chamber music in his later life, in earlier years he tried to compose several different types of chamber works such as a string quartet, two piano trios, a piano quartet and several instrumental sonatas. Now I will introduce his last work of chamber music, the violin sonata. At the age of 23, Strauss composed…show more content…
The first movement, Allegro ma non troppo, is very fiery and powerful. After an initial flourish of piano solo, the violin brings forth the main theme, a romantic, almost heroic melody. As the theme is developed fast passages create a sense of urgent drama. The middle movement is very unique because of its title Improvisation: Andante cantabile. The tranquil violin passages give the impression of improvisational material. This movement begins with a beautiful love song until a turbulent middle sections rudely interrupts its dream-like reverie. The finale, Andante-Allegro, begins with a quiet, introspective introduction in the piano alone which then leads into an exuberant Allegro. At the Allegro, the violin breaks forth with ascending, slashing passages from its lowest to its highest register, creating a sense of drama and importance. However, then comes a playfulness that sneaks into the music almost without notice. And then after a rush of virtuosic passages from both violin and piano, the sonata comes to an explosive end. There is an very interesting thing that in this movement, Strauss use the same motive with the first movement of Brahms Violin Sonata no.1. This can be considered as Strauss’s respect to…show more content…
The first thing is the implementing of vibrato. Until the early twentieth century, violinists make the conclusion that vibrato was not used as a connection and constant undercurrent in violin playing , but as a tool to highlight unique moments melodically or harmonically. However, Eugène Ysaÿe, the Belgian violinist changed their mind, he encouraged people to use continuous vibrato to make their sound more passionate and expressive, and Strauss 's sonata was also affected by this trend. Also in that time, portamento was widely used at every position change. Thus in order to play the sentimental emotion of this sonata well, violinists need to study how to use plenty of vibratos and expressive
Get Access