The second half of the 19th century represented something of a ‘Golden Age’ of the violin sonata in France: Influential violin sonatas such as those by Franck, Faure and Saint-Saens were among the successful works of this genre, inspiring many further compositions.
Saint-Saens’ Violin Sonata No. 2 was written in 1896 during a stay of several months by the composer in Egypt: he began the main themes of all four movements as well as the canonic trio in Luxor and Aswan. The sonata was then completed on the Nile journey back to Cairo. That same year the sonata was premiered by Saint-Saens and Pablo Sarasate in a concert celebrating the composer’s fiftieth stage anniversary. Astoundingly, he had first appeared on stage when he was only ten years old.
This performing edition edited by Fabien Guilloux and François de Medicis is based on ''Saint-Saens – Oeuvres instrumentales completes'', volume III/4. It reflects the most up-to-date state of research on this work which the edition presents in a spacious engraving.