The Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38, actually entitled "Sonate für Klavier und Violoncello", was written by Johannes Brahms in 1862-65. Brahms composed the first two movements during the summer of 1862, as well as an Adagio which was later deleted. The final movement was composed in 1865. The sonata is actually entitled "Sonate für Klavier und Violoncello" (for Piano and Cello) and the piano "should be a partner - often a leading, often a watchful and considerate partner - but it should under no circumstances assume a purely accompanying role" It is dedicated to Josef Gänsbacher, a singing professor and amateur cellist. In the course of a private performance for an audience of friends, Brahms played so loudly that the worthy Gänsbacher complained that he could not hear his cello at all - "Lucky for you, too", growled Brahms, and let the piano rage on. It is "a homage to J. S. Bach" and the principal theme of the first movement and of the fugue are based on Contrapunctus 4 and 13 of The Art of Fugue. Brahms performed the sonata in Mannheim in July 1865 and then offered it to Breitkopf & Härtel, who turned it down. He had however also sent the sonata to Simrock describing it, in one of the most mendacious statements made by a major composer about his own work, as "a violoncello sonata which, as far as both instruments are concerned, is certainly not difficult to play", and they published it in 1866. The work was championed in Europe and London by Robert Hausmann. In gratitude, Brahms dedicated his Second Sonata to Hausmann.
WIKIPEDIA VIDEO: Jacqueline du Pre - cello Daniel Barenboim - piano