Friday, June 5, 2015

Sonatas for solo instrument

No. 201 of the ongoing ITYWLTMT series of audio montages can be found in our archives at


June already!

As the days get longer and the weather (finally) gets warmer, we start thinking about the summer and for me here at ITYWLTMT, a two-month semi-break where we will be recycling some old posts and featuring a handful of new ones that will focus on Mozart. More on that in a “programming” post near the end of the month.

In the meantime, we will continue on a theme we started last week – the theme is “sonatas”. Indeed, three of our montages featured piano sonatas by Beethoven, Prokofiev and Liszt but, as you know, there are many more sonata “variants” than the sonata for solo piano – there are indeed many other variants and even some for other solo instruments. Today’s montage considers sonatas for solo instruments “other” than the piano.

Three of the selections I have programmed today consider sonatas for the solo violin – the first is by Johann Sebastian Bach. One of Bach’s best loved movements for solo violin is the chaconne from his second partita for solo violin, and that chaconne inspired two other 20th century composers and their own sonatas – by violin virtuoso Eugene Ysaye, and by Bela Bartok.

Another violin virtuoso who left us solo sonatas is Nicolo Paganini; Paganini was not only the devilish violinist of renoun, but also an excellent guitarist, and the sonatas of his I chose for today are a pair of short sonatas for the guitar.

An organ sonata from Vincenzo Bellini’s student days and a guitar adaptation of one of the many short keyboard sonatas of Padre Soler complete this week’s selections.

I think you will love this music too.

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