Benjamin Britten: 'Violin Sonata in D Major'

Scope and Content

For violin and piano, in score. Autograph music manuscript, in ink and in pencil.

Dated on the front cover: 'Begun March 1925'. The date on which the Sonata was finished is recorded on f. 13v and f. 17: 'April 6th 1925'. With Britten's (youthful) signature ('E B Britten') accompanying each date.

The notebook comprises:

  • front cover, entitled 'Violin Sonata in D Major', with date ('Begun March 1925'), with signature and dedication to Britten's brother, 'R. H. M. Britten' (f. i);
  • 'Allegro con brio' scored in ink (ff. 1-3v);
  • 'Adagio ma mon troppo' scored in ink (ff. 3v-5);
  • 'Scherzo' scored in ink (ff. 5-6);
  • 'Trio' scored in ink (ff. 6v-7);
  • struck-through passages, in ink and in pencil (ff. 7-9v), including (f. 9-9v) a fragment in full score for different instrumentation;
  • 'Rondo' scored in pencil (ff. 10-14), finishing on f. 13v which is signed and dated;
  • Sonata violin part, scored in ink (ff. 15-17), signed and dated on f. 17.

Access Information

Restrictions to access apply please consult British Library staff

Not Public Record(s)

Alternative Form Available

Digitised copy available on British Library Digitised Manuscripts:

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Re-bound (sewn) music manuscript notebook (A. Weekes & Co. Ltd., 14 Hanover St, London), with original soft covers. Dimensions: 295 x 240 mm.


Christopher Mark, Early Benjamin Britten: A Study of Stylistic and Technical Evolution (1995), p. 10, notes that the 'scherzo' (ff. 5-6) is an arrangement of Waltz 6 from '10 Walztes' (Add MS 60624). Four extracts from the Sonata are published in Mark, Appendix I, pp. 291-5.