Sunday, April 15, 2018

Marie Jaëll A minor Sonata transcribed for viola

I didn't think I would be able engrave the massive and complicated piano part of the Jaëll A minor Sonata when I wrote my last post about my viola transcription of the piece. But since I couldn't imagine anyone else taking the initiative to do it, and I feel that it is a substantial addition to the repertoire, I spent the past month facing (and solving) some serious engraving difficulties while I patiently entered the 76-page piano part into Finale. I finished it today, and to celebrate I uploaded the sonata into the IMSLP. It was truly a labor of love. I believe that the piece will win the hearts of other violists as well as the pianists they play with. When we performed it in March that audience liked it too.

Marie Jaëll was born Marie Trautman in Alsace. She studied piano with Ignaz Moscheles, and then with Henri Hertz at the Paris Conservatory, where at sixteen she won a first prize for piano performance. She married the pianist Alfred Jaëll, and the couple set up a salon in Paris. Marie Jaëll was the first pianist to perform all of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas in Paris. She wrote piano music, chamber music, vocal music, symphonic poems, concertos, and an opera, and studied composition with Cesar Franck and Camille Saint-Saëns. She was a close friend of Franz Liszt, and Saint-Säens considered her interpretations of Liszt’s music to be definitive. Jaëll wrote her A minor Cello Sonata in 1881, and it was published in Paris in 1886.

You can find the music on this page of the IMSLP. You can learn more about Marie Jaëll here, and here.

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