Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications

School of Music

CHASE

View Work

Johannes Brahms » Violin Sonata no. 1 in G major

The editions of the sonata presented here, which date from 1918 to 1933 present a number of intriguing differences.  Five of them, those of Kneisel/Bauer (Schirmer), Schnirlin/Kahn (Simrock), Flesch/Schnabel (Fischer/Peters), Schulze-Biesantz/Kähler (Litolff), and Telmányi include metronome marks. Another series of metronome tempi for this sonata were given by an anonymous editor in the Musical Herald for 1917 (p. 186) in response to a reader's query. The metronome marks in the various editions register significantly different approaches, notably in the case of the last movement. The Peters edition is particularly informative of Schnabel's approach; the piano part containing many metronome marks within as well as at the beginning of movements. The tempo indications at the beginning of the last movement (supplied independently by Flesch and Schnabel?) differ in the first issues; in more recent reprints of this edition, however, the marking for the third movement in the violin part has been replaced with the one from the piano part (our copy is an earlier printing). 

The Telmányi edition is particularly interesting because the editor also recorded this sonata just six years after the publication of the edition. In many respects, however, his recording does not reflect the edition; this is particularly the case with fingering, for while Telmányi's edition contains many of the traditional fingerings, with copious employment of harmonics and open strings, for instance at the beginning of the first movement, he rejected these in his recording in favour of fingerings that more readily permitted the use of continuous vibrato. On the other hand, he still employed a significant amount of portamento, though not always in the places indicated by his printed fingerings. 

The following list compares the metronome marks in the journal and the editions (Auer does not provide them). Schnabel's additional metronome marks, which are not reproduced in the violin part or in the table below, have been listed separately.

Movements

Musical Herald 1917

Kneisel/Bauer 1918

Schnirlin/Kahn 1926

Flesch/Schnabel 1926

Schultze-Biesantz/Kähler 1929

Telmányi 1933

I : Vivace ma non troppo

1/2.=54

1/2.=54

1/2.=50-56

1/2.=56

1/4=120

1/2.=c.54

b. 36 con anima

 

1/2.=60

 

1/2.=63

 

 

b. 48 sostenuto

 

1/2.=54

 

 

 

 

b. 107  più sostenuto

 

1/2.=50

 

1/2.=52

 

 

b. 118

 

1/2.=54

 

 

 

 

b. 134

 

1/2.=50

 

 

 

 

b. 156 Tempo 1o

 

1/2.=54

 

 

 

 

II: Adagio

1/8=72

1/8=63 
(Misprinted 1/4 in violin part)

1/8=56-60

1/8=60

1/8=76

1/8=c.60

b. 35 più Andante 

 

1/8=96

 

1/4=42 (in piano part only)

 

 

b. 91 

 

1/8=80 (see footnote in edition)

 

quaver 60, but 69 at b. 97 (in piano part only) 

 

 

III: Allegro molto moderato 

1/4=92

1/4=84

1/4=69-76 

1/4=88-96 (100-104 in piano part!)

1/4=92

1/4=c.92

b. 113 tranquillo

 

1/4=80

 

1/4=84

 

 

b. 124  in tempo

 

1/4=84

 

 

 

 

b. 140 Più moderato

 

1/4=76

 

1/4=80

 

 

 

Schnabel’s additional metronome marks: 

I, 54: 1/2.=56; I, 60: 1/2.=50; I, 70: 1/2.=46; I, 82: 1/2.=56; I, 174: 1/2.=63; I, 192: 1/2.=56; I, 198: 1/2.=50; I, 208: 1/2.=46; I, 229: 1/2.=63; I, 230: 1/2.=69

II, 48: 2nd beat, 1/4=46; II,  115: 1/8=60; II, 117: 1/8=56

III, 29: 1/4=88; III, 159: 1/4=72


See also: various excerpts with bowing and fingering  (click 
here ) included in Ossip Schnirlin's Neuer Weg Vol. III (1925). 

CB 

Opus No: op. 78

Editions
Editor(s) Title Publisher Publication No. Year
Auer, Leopold Violin Sonata no. 1 in G major Carl Fischer 1917 View
Flesch, Carl Sonate no. 1 C.F. Peters 3901a 1926 View
Kneisel, Franz First Sonata Schirmer 1918 View
Schnirlin, Ossip Sonate G dur N. Simrock 1926 View
Schultze-Biesantz, Clemens Sonate G dur op. 78 Litolff 2734a 1929 View
Seybold, Arthur Sonata No. 1 Anton J. Benjamin 1929 View
Telmányi, Emil Sonate für Klavier und Violine Wilhelm Hansen 3302 1933 View