Violin Sonata No.2 in c minor, Op.35
"Richard Franck's music is ingratiating and well worth hearing."--The Chamber Music Journal. And this is certainly true of his fine Second Violin Sonata composed in 1903.
Richard Franck (1858-1938) was the son of the composer, concert pianist and teacher Eduard Franck (whose music we also publish). Born in Cologne, where his father was then teaching, Richard showed an early talent for the piano. When it became clear he was going to pursue a career in music, Eduard, who had studied with Mendelssohn, saw to it that he received the best training available. Richard was sent to the prestigious Leipzig Conservatory to study with Carl Reinecke and Salomon Jadassohn, both of whom were among the leading composers and teachers of their day. After finishing his studies, Richard enjoyed a long career as a teacher, composer, and pianist, during the course of which he held several positions in Germany and Switzerland.
Although he was a fine performer, and a respected teacher and composer, he never achieved real prominence. It was simply a fact of life, which befalls a many fine musician, and not really a reflection on him as either a teacher, performer or composer. Those critics, who were familiar with his compositions regularly lavished praised upon them.
The opening movement, Allegro moderato, begins with a piano introduction. The main theme is somewhat agitated and quickly builds to a dramatic climax. The development shows is given a lyrical treatment which reveals the two-sided nature of the melody. The second movement, Allegro, is a short, charming intermezzo. The Adagio non troppo which follows is clearly the sonata's center of gravity. The first subject, a series of descending chords, is stately and unhurried. The development brings just a taste of tension before the first dramatic climax which both delicate and compelling. A second climax quickly follows. The finale is a triumphant and celebratory Allegro con fuoco. The main theme is warm and jovial. A romantic and chromatically wayward second subject follows. The development is full of interesting modulations.
This sonata is a first class work which deserves a place in the recital hall and can be recommended to amateurs and professionals alike. Our edition is the first in seventy years.