The Violin Sonata was one of three chamber works Elgar
composed more or less concurrently towards the end of the First
World War at Brinkwells, the country cottage the Elgars had
rented near Fittleworth in Sussex. Although he had begun work on the
String Quartet before the sonata,
he completed the sonata first. Elgar was himself a competent
player of both the violin and the piano and the work proceeded
quickly to completion in little over a month.
Although the sonata displays Elgar's familiar musical skills, the
war had changed Elgar and his audience. The mood of the sonata
is rather reserved, as was the critics' reaction to it. Although
the sonata continues to be played occasionally, in contrast to
Elgar's more substantial works it has never gained a secure place
in the concert repertoire.