After his first cello sonata of 1872 had fast gained popularity, the publisher kept asking the Saint-Saëns to write a second sonata for this scoring. But it was only in March 1905, in the mild climate of Algeria, that he finally relented and composed a large sonata with four movements. He personally thought it superior to the first sonata and even believed that its third movement, the "Romanza", was an equivalent to the famous "Swan" in the "Carnival of the Animals". However, this work is still overshadowed by the first sonata, not least because the second places greater technical and artistic demands on cellists.
This edition contains both marked and unmarked string parts.