Joachim Raff (1822–1882) 6 Morceaux Op. 85
Urtext edited by Stefan Kägi and Severin Kolb [vl,pno]
With his Six Morceaux, Raff created a collection of six short pieces with the aim of “pleasantly entertaining many a listener” and demonstrating that he was “also capable of writing something easy”. After all, he had made a name for himself in the years before with extremely demanding chamber music for renowned dedicatees. The Six Morceaux, dedicated to the violinist Ludwig Straus, on the other hand, are probably related to Raff’s teaching activities at a private piano school in Wiesbaden at that time. Therefore, with the individual pieces varying in difficulty they are well suited for violin lessons without losing any of their musical ambition. The most famous piece is probably the “Cavatina”. Arranged for various scorings during Raff’s lifetime, it continues to be one of the most popular Encore pieces altogether – Fritz Kreisler, Yehudi Menuhin and Itzhak Perlman have made recordings of the piece. They say that a piano quintet version was even heard on the Titanic. This modern Urtext edition is based on the first printing, supervised and initiated by Raff himself.