Mendelssohn's viola sonata is one of his many early works which remained
unpublished in his lifetime. The autograph is dated "d. 14 Febr. 1824".
Thus Mendelssohn was 15 years old when he completed the sonata. It
assuredly numbers amongst his most mature early chamber music works. The
key already indicates the seriousness with which the composer set to
work. The first movement is preceded by a short adagio introduction. The
middle movement, a menuetto, retains the key of c minor and not even
the trio with its chorale-like melody lightens the minor mood. The
closing movement is an andante with eight variations. It is a welcome
addition to the scant classical-romantic viola repertoire.
Like his father, C.P.E. Bach wrote three sonatas for viola da gamba. The
original register of the viola da gamba part permits a version for
viola, a practice that has been verified in the sources of the time. A
viola version is available as an alternative part in this Urtext
Sonata in B-flat Major, op. 36 for Viola and Piano
Now considered the foremost of the Franco-Belgian violin school,
Vieuxtemps was an excellent viola player and composer of several works
for violin and viola. This edition is the first ever Urtext edition of
his opus 36.