Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 (1928)
Luís de Freitas Branco was born on October 12, 1890 in Lisbon. A direct descendant of the Marquis of Pombal and the Duke of Saldanha, Damião de Góis was his distant ancestor. At the age of thirteen he had already begun taking violin lessons three times a week with André Goñi, a professor at the Academia de Amadores de Música, and piano with Timóteo da Silveira. In 1906 the Belgian composer Désiré Pâque settled in Lisbon, his influence would be decisive for the young Luís de Freitas Branco, who in the first phase of his compositional life was strongly inspired by the Franco-Belgian school.
Freitas Branco began composing the second sonata for violin in August 1928 at Monte dos Perdigões in Alentejo when he was thirty-eight years old, and concluded his composition in Lisbon on the 27th of October of the same year. About twenty years after the composition of his first sonata, with his second, Luís de Freitas Branco presents a mature work, clearly inspired by the life and culture of Alentejo. It should be noted that a year earlier, in 1927, Freitas Branco also completed the composition of the second Suite Alentejana. Ana Telles states that “We can, without exaggerating, say that the experiences in this geographic space mirror and reflect the strong connection of Luís de Freitas Branco to the Alentejo...” (Franco & Telles, 2012, p. 91).
In formal terms, the second sonata is noticeably clearer compared to the first, showing a deeper knowledge of the instruments which Luís de Freitas Branco explores so well in the service of music.
Nuno Barreiros, in the liner notes of the CD that includes the second sonata interpreted by violinist Tibor Varga and pianist Roberto Szidon, mentions the “...beautiful lyrical fluency...”, which invites us to travel through the warm landscapes and tranquility of Alentejo.
According to Alexandre Delgado, with the second sonata for violin and piano, Freitas Branco abandons the almost neo-romantic modal tonalism, to embark on a refined tonalism (Delgado et al., 2007).
According to the same author, the first public performance of sonata nº 2 is reputed to have taken place on June 17, 1939 at the Instituto de Música de Coimbra. The interpreters were Diogo de Melo de Sampaio and Berta Rosa Delgado. The performance officially announced as the premiere of the work took place 18 months later, at Teatro da Trindade on January 24, 1941. This premiere was performed by Paulo Manso on violin and Isabel Manso on piano (Delgado et al., 2007).
As mentioned by Delgado et al. (2007), the original manuscript of the work was never located. The present edition is based on a handwritten copy from the Archive of Written Music of the RDP, which served the violinists Leonor Prado and Tibor Varga.
(Lisbon, January 2022)
 Notes accompanying the edited CD by Portugalsom/Strauss (1995).
 Written Music Archive (RDP), recording nº 7864.