© Rupert Luck 2010
The Arthur Bliss Society
In May 2011, Rupert Luck and Matthew Rickard performed the Bliss Violin Sonata at an
event jointly sponsored by the Arthur Bliss Society and the Ivor Gurney Society.
Rupert Luck has kindly allowed us to reproduce here
his notes on the restoration of the Sonata:
The Sonata is a single-movement work (the given title is Bliss's own) dating, it seems, from about
1914, and has, hitherto, existed only in manuscript form. This manuscript is in the care of
Cambridge University Library; and it appears that the work was played privately, probably several
times: the pages show considerable wear at the edges and are 'dog-eared', presumably in order to
facilitate page-turns. Perhaps as a result of these private playings, it seems that Bliss became
dissatisfied with several passages, crossing them through in pencil. The revisions he composed,
intended as substitutes for these deleted passages, have only fairly recently come to light, and are
written on separate sheets of manuscript paper which, nevertheless, are similarly stamped to those
on which the original version is written; the handwriting is also similar, indicating that the revisions
were composed not long after the original was completed.
In restoring the work, I was able to determine the intended order and placement of the revisions
within the context of the original and thereby to complete a version which, I believe, is as close as it
is possible to come, at this stage, to Bliss's final intentions.
The unfinished Violin Sonata (c 1914)