Folio (305 x 240 mm). In plain contemporary wrappers with titling in white ink to upper. 5, [iii] (blank) pp. Notated in black ink on 12-stave paper. Braced systems of two staves with G and F clefs; bass amply figured. With figures for the continuo provided throughout, above the bass line. Watermark "LVG" with coat of arms and fleur de lys.
The sonata is in three movements: Affettuoso (D major), Allegro (D major), and Affettuoso (B minor) [no title] (D major).
Wrappers stained and slightly dampstained; corners slightly creased.
The solo part has a range from B below middle C to D two octaves and a third higher. While it can be played on the violin, one could argue the fact that the long sustained notes would be more effective on a wind instrument.
The present work, reminiscent of Handel and Corelli, with heavy Italian influence but in a fundamentally international baroque style, may have been composed in England.
The Affettuoso [3/4] features a limpid, flowing melody in the treble part that is accompanied by a dissonance-laced slow descent in the bass over the span of an octave, eventually rising back up to its former peak before the end of the first page. Halfway through the movement, the bass takes up the opening melody. Following some repartee between the two parts and leaping dance-like passages, the piece closes calmly in a low register.
The Allegro [C] commences with a favorite 18th century stock harmonic pattern, the Romanesca (similar to the bass line of Pachelbel's Canon). This movement is characterized by feints, and surprisingly abrupt changes in texture and turns of phrase. Composed in a binary form with each section repeated, the movement upends convention of the time in a fascinating way. The B-section in a sonata movement such as this one would often start with the melodic material of the beginning of the movement, in the dominant key. In this Allegro, however, the B section starts with a melody completely different from the movement's start, and changes keys frequently, back and forth between major (A major / D major) to minor (B minor / F sharp minor), incorporating moody chromatic writing along the way. About halfway through the movement, the theme from its start reemerges in its original key, recapitulating the melody with a more forthright and straightforward style, as if stating what the music "meant to say" all along.
The third movement, an Affettuoso [12/8] in B-minor is cast as a melancholy pastorale, with plangent dissonant leaps, including upward augmented seconds and a downward tritone. A fermata in the movement's penultimate bar leaves space for the soloist to improvise a cadenza.
The final movement [no title], in 3/8, presents a lighthearted contrast to the tenebrous second Affettuoso. The opening of the A section incorporates copious dotted rhythms, in the manner of a scherzo (musical joke). As the A section continues, a distinctive leaping dance-like melody, first heard in the sonata's opening Affettuoso, returns, accompanied by a drone. In the B section, more elements from the opening Affettuoso crop up, including further iterations of the leaping figure in different keys, and dissonance-laced scales (modified to be humorously syncopated).
An elegant, witty, and compositionally sophisticated 18th century sonata, unrecorded and worthy of further research.
Price: $600.00 other currencies