Sonata for Violin and Piano in F major, Op. 57, B106

Opus number


Burghauser catalogue number


Date of composition

3 March – 17 March 1880

Premiere - date and place

23 September 1880, Chrudim

Premiere performer(s)

Josef Klimeš, Zdenka Havelková

First edition

Simrock, 1880, Berlin

Main key

F major

Parts / movements

1. Allegro, ma non troppo
2. Poco sostenuto
3. Allegro molto


approx. 23 min.

composition history

This is the only surviving work by Dvořák which bears the designation “sonata” (the whereabouts of the composer’s previous two sonatas, violin and cello, are unknown today). It was written within fifteen days in March 1880 almost concurrently with his Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in A minor, and might be described as a kind of intimate counterpart to it. The second movement of the sonata was originally to have been an Adagio in the key of F major, but Dvořák replaced the movement he had already started with a new one (Poco sostenuto, A major), while he later used the original Adagio for his String Quartet in C major. The work was premiered and also published (Simrock) that same year.

general characteristics

The chief quality of the sonata is its lyricism. The thematic material and its treatment are refined and exquisite throughout the sonata cycle. The sound of both these instruments together, even on this small scale, provides yet another example of Dvořák’s fine sense of instrumentation. The first movement is written in sonata form, based on two themes, where the second subject is exposed irregularly in the key of D major. The slow second movement is also created from two fundamental ideas, whose development is shared equally by both instruments. The final movement is again in sonata form, this time with three themes. The main subject, which gives the movement its joyful atmosphere, has a tonal temperament reminiscent of the Slavonic Dances.