Cesar Franck's Violin Sonata is one of the most treasured works in the violin repertoire, a masterpiece of cyclic form with a gracefulness and expressive force almost paradigmatic for the age of musical Romanticism. This work was composed in 1886 and was dedicated to the Belgian violinist and composer Eugène Ysaÿe.
Franck's friend, the cellist Jules Desart, was so impressed when he heard the Violin Sonata performed at the Société nationale de musique in Paris that he adapted the work for his instrument. This arrangement was first published in 1887 by inserting the cello part into the piano score of the original edition. for this purpose the piano score had received a new cover and the publisher had expanded the title of the composition to Sonata pour piano et violon ou violoncelle. This version by the cellist Jules Delsart for piano and cello is the only arrangement of the work authorized by the composer.
Bärenreiter's edition also includes a separate movement, Mélancolie, first published after Franck's death in 1911, again for the same instrumentation, piano and violin or cello. This short piece is based on a solfège exercise and was written at the height of the composer's creative powers, at about the same time as his famous violin sonata.