First Ladies: Three Romantic Violin Sonatas

Catalogue No: TOCN0013
EAN/UPC: 5060640070134
Release Date: 2021-08-20
Composer: Elfrida Andrée, Ethel Smyth, Mel Bonis
Artists: Annette-Barbara Vogel, Durval Cesetti

One could hardly intuit from these fresh and flowing violin sonatas the obstacles their female composers had to face – family opposition for Mel Bonis in France and Ethel Smyth in England, institutional conservatism for Elfrida Andrée in Sweden. It has taken a century and more for that initial prejudice to fall away, and they are now beginning to attract a fair hearing for their music. What ultimately matters, of course, is not whether composers are male or female but whether they write good music, and these three sonatas – melodically expansive, rhythmically vivacious, harmonically warm – point to the musical riches that further exploration of their creators’ output will uncover.

Annette-Barbara Vogel, violin
Durval Cesetti, piano

    ELFRIDA ANDRÉE (1841–1929)
    Violin Sonata in B flat major (1872)*

  1. I Allegro con spirito
  2. II Andante cantabile
  3. III Finale. Allegro moderato e risoluto
  4. MEL BONIS (1858–1937)
    Violin Sonata in F sharp minor, Op. 112 (1922)

  5. I Moderato
  6. II Presto
  7. III Lento (Thème populaire grec recueilli par Bourgault-Ducoudray)
  8. IV Final. Con moto
  9. ETHEL SMYTH (1858–1944)
    Violin Sonata in A minor, Op. 7 (1887)

  10. I Allegro moderato
  11. II Scherzo. Allegro grazioso
  12. III Romanze. Andante grazioso
  13. IV Finale. Allegro vivace


1 review for First Ladies: Three Romantic Violin Sonatas

  1. :

    ‘[Ethyl Smyth’s sonata] is a dark work, written at a time of great personal emotional upheaval, and Vogel, with Durval Cesetti as her sensitive associate artist, bring a brooding passion to it. A most enjoyable recording of neglected sonatas that hopefully promotes their transition into mainstream repertoire.’

    —Susan Pierotti, Stringendo

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