Presented together here on this album are Duo-Sonatas which were composed within a span of about 15 years. The year of composition of the Viola d`amore-Sonata by Stamitz is however unknown. It was probably written during his time as a travelling soloist from 1770.
Joseph Haydn`s Sonata was composed about 1769. He mentioned it in his own list of works as the first of “6 Violin Solo mit Begleitung einer Viola“ (“6 Violin Solos with the Accompainment of a Viola”).
The genius godfather of the “Wiener Klassik“ created within the first bars a whole world of music – and in between a joyful Allegro and a simple but refined Menuet he placed a surprisingly dark and touching Adagio in F minor. This Duo is technically and musically demanding for the violin player whereas the viola has a more accompanying function. For what purpose were these Duos originally written? In particular for the music of the court of Esterhazy, but most certainly also for music lovers, for musical entertainment at social gatherings and for skilled violinists who enjoyed Haydn’s artistry.
Karl Stamitz had other intentions: he composed an extremely virtuosic piece for his own use as the soloist of a rare instrument: the Viola d`amore. A concert performance on tour could easily be staged with help of an attentive violinist. It is hard to believe, that this skilled and imaginative composer wrote only one single piece for this distinctive combination of instruments. Possibly numerous works were lost due to the fact they were not printed and existed only as hand written copies. Three copies of this Sonata survived the test of time in the Staatsbibliothek Berlin and were not printed until 1973. Obviously then, as now, there were very few musicians who played this rare and enchanting instrument. The nickname “Marlborough-Sonata“ comes from the theme of the Variations in the last movement: a folk melody with the text “Marlborough s`en va-t-en guerre“.
The history of the origin of the Duos by Michael Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is well known: Michael Haydn, the younger brother of Joseph, was obliged to deliver six Duos for his employer, the Archbishop of Salzburg. Due to illness Haydn could only finish 4 Duos. His good friend Mozart jumped in and composed the last two in his place – his famous duos for violin and viola. Combined on this album is the first Duo of Michael Haydn with the first Duo of W. A. Mozart. The violin part of Michael Haydn`s work is virtuosic and was most certainly a challenge for the Archbishop who played the violin himself. The duo is very entertaining to listen to. Mozart however achieved something truly exceptional: with a knowing hand he wrote a masterpiece full of spirit, wit and emotion. In this work, both instruments have equal roles while at the same time each maintains their individual character.
Valerie Rubin – violin
Martin Timphus – viola d’amore, viola
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:11:45
|Original Recording Format|
Santa Eufemia, Palencia, Spain
|Release Date||November 20, 2023|
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