Brahms – “Sonatas For Viola and Piano, Op. 120” – [Capitol Records]
In 1912 Rudolf Firkusny was born in Moravian Napajedla, in what is now Czechoslovakia period he studied with Janacek, touring Europe in the 1920s and premiering in London in 1933 and New York in 1938. He fled the Nazis in 1939, escaping to Paris and settling in New York.
William Primrose was a Scottish violist, teacher, and author. He was part of the NBC Symphony Orchestra with Jascha Heifetz and others. He began in 1924 as a professional violinist and switched to the viola in 1930. Late in life he developed hearing difficulties that prevented him from hearing certain pitches. He died in Utah.
Brahms’ Op. 120 are his final chamber works. Published in 1895. Brahms loved the clarinet and wrote These originally for clarinet and piano although he also wrote a version for viola. Side A begins with a 4 bar piano theme in octaves that has been shown in recent analysis to be generative of every musical idea that follows. Side B is not too shabby either.