Brahms viola sonata op. 120 no. 2 in E flat major
Piano: Daniel Barenboim
Viola: Pinchas Zukerman
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- in the Baroque era, there were many works written for the viola da gamba, including sonatas (the most famous being Johann Sebastian Bach‘s three, now most often played on the cello)
- in the Classical era and early Romantic, there were few works written with viola specifically in mind as solo instrument, and many of these, like those of the Stamitz family, may have been written for the viola d’amore, like most of their viola works – though it is now customary to play them on the viola; it was more typical to publish a work or set, like George Onslow‘s opus 16 cello sonatas, or Johannes Brahms‘s opus 120 clarinet sonatas in the late 19th century, that specified the viola as an alternate. Two early exceptions were the viola sonatas of Felix Mendelssohn (1824, posthumously published around 1981) and the opus 1 sonata of the composer Ernst Naumann (1832-1910), published in 1854.