Brahms composed a whole series of chamber music works, including his Second Violin Sonata in A major, during a summer visit to Thun in Switzerland in 1886. This wonderfully lyrical work is one of his most cheerful creations; his biographer Max Kalbeck once cryptically called it a “sonata of love and song”. The second subject of the first movement quotes the principal motif of Brahms’s own song “Wie Melodien zieht es mir”, and the other movements are similarly characterised by a melodious intimacy. The close structural cohesion of the sonata was immediately acknowledged by the music critic Eduard Hanslick, who noted that “The three movements form a pure triad of uniformly soothing moods”.
The musical text of this revised Urtext edition is based on the recently-published volume within the New Brahms Complete Edition, which guarantees the highest degree of scholarly precision. Frank Peter Zimmermann and Martin Helmchen, masters of their respective instruments, provide helpful fingerings.