Masterclass: Daniel Hope on the Franck Violin Sonata


The violinist takes a look at the second movement of the work and highlights the importance of a perfect piano-violin partnership

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This is a piece on which I worked extensively with Yehudi Menuhin when I was in my teens. One of my earliest memories of hearing it is at the age of ten, at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, page turning for Pinchas Zukerman and Marc Neikrug. I was in awe of Zukerman’s sound and kept forgetting to turn the page!

I also remember an extraordinary performance by Menuhin and his sister, Hephzibah, in London’s Royal Festival Hall. They played it from memory and to this day I’ve never forgotten the way Hephzibah began that first movement, the magical quality of her colours and her exquisite timing. The opening bars can move me to tears when they are played by a great pianist. When they are not, I feel almost ready to kill!

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