Johannes Brahms – Violin Sonata No. 2 Op. 100
The Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 100 (“Thun” or “Meistersinger”), by Johannes Brahms was written while spending the summer of 1886 in Thun in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland.
It was a very fertile and refreshing time for Brahms. His friend, the Swiss pastor and poet Josef Victor Widmann (1842–1911), lived in Berne and they visited each other. He was also visited by the poet Klaus Groth and the young German contralto Hermine Spies. Both Groth and Brahms were somewhat enamoured of Spies. He found himself so invigorated by the genial atmosphere and surroundings that he said the area was “so full of melodies that one has to be careful not to step on any”. In a short space of time, he produced, in addition to this violin sonata, the Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, Op. 99, the Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 101, and various songs.
The second Violin Sonata is the shortest and is considered the most lyrical of Brahms’s three violin sonatas. It is also considered the most difficult of the three to bring off successfully, and to exhibit its balance of lyricism and virtuosity. It maintains a radiant, happy mood throughout.