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Franck - Viola sonata A-dur

Franck - Viola sonata A-dur

Franck - Viola sonata A-dur. You can download the PDF sheet music Franck - Viola sonata A-dur on this page. This Franck's Sonata (viola transcription of violin sonata) is dedicated to the Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaye, whose skills were such that he was able to perform Franck's wedding gift virtually at sight before the distinguished company assembled for the celebrations in Arlon. When the sonata finally reached the Société nationale in Paris on Christmas Eve 1887, the enthusiasm was such that the finale had to be encored.

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PDF format sheet music

Viola part: 27 pages. pages. 5219 K


Piano part: 35 pages. pages. 7483 K


Franck - Viola sonata A-dur - Viola part - first page Franck - Viola sonata A-dur - Piano part - first page
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The reasons for the sonata's enduring success are not hard to find: the sheer beauty of the violin line lends it instant accessibility; Franck's experienced control of instrumental balance and changing moods makes it equally rewarding for the players and the audience; and it never descends to sentimentality or post-Romantic indulgence, managing to combine rigorous development and powerful strength with inspirational freshness. And Franck's sensuous opening on an unprepared (and extended) dominant ninth was innovatory too and may well have pointed the way towards Debussy's later experiments in 'impressionism'. Moreover, the sonata is a highly unified creation, with the opening theme providing the intervallic cells (a third plus a falling semitone) from which the whole work derives. Subtly metamorphosed, this theme recurs on the piano near the start of the Fantasia, whilst another lyrical idea from the middle of this movement reappears as the second subject of the finale. The turbulent second movement erupts rather like the Allegretto ben moderato following a long Classical slow introduction, and if the Recitativo — Fantasia shows how well Franck knew Bach's unaccompanied violin music, then the effortless canon at the octave that frames the finale makes it one of the crowning achievements of nineteenth-century counterpoint. In the process the two players are harmoniously united, without any need for an additional string quartet, in a movement that rounds off this impassioned and deeply-felt sonata to perfection.
24 November 2021
Last Updated on 24 November 2021
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