Sonata in A Major, II. Allegro

César Franck (composer), Krystian Zimerman (piano), Kaja Danczowska (violin)
PassionatoLv. 15

Directions: Allegro (at a brisk pace).

Fast mod recommended.


I busted my brain to chart this monster.



This piece was César Franck's wedding gift to contemporary violinist Eugene Ysaÿe (hence the background image). This chart only quotes the second movement, marked "Allegro". What is unusual about this sonata is the fact that the first movement is widely considered a(n) (long) introduction to the "true" start of the piece (the second), and the fact that the piano accompaniment is highly virtuosic with lots of large chords (as Franck had large hands), far harder than that of many other violin sonatas at the time, and is frequently involved in playing extended passages in a leading role. In contrast, many such pieces have the piano in a supporting role, playing texturally simplistic passages.

This movement is the most rhapsodic out of all four, utilising varied temperaments throughout. The piece starts off thunderously in the opening in the lower register, and opens up to introduce the main theme with a direction to do so passionately ("passionato"). However, as the movement progresses, the performers are directed to heavily diminish the volume ("molto dim.") at a pianissimo passage marked "dolce" (sweetly). After a very slow and introspective section marked "quasi lento" (slowly), the mood abruptly shifts to one of exaltation, with a direction to play with passion ("forte con passione"), and later even further emphasising the importance of the sweetness ("dolcissimo espressivo"). After what is practically a repeat, the movement enters a quiet fantasia ("con fantasia"), and finally swelling the mood to a climax at the end ("animato poco a poco").

It should be noted that while this piece is a "sonata in A major", this movement starts off in D minor, and modulates to other keys throughout. An A major-esque sound is not prevalent until the ending notes.


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Last updated

05/19/2020, 5 months ago