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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » F » Franck, Cesar



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Cesar Franck (12/10/1822 - 11/08/1890)

Born in Liège in 1822, César Franck was originally intended by his father for a career as a virtuoso pianist. In Paris his nationality excluded him at first from the Conservatoire, where he eventually failed to achieve the necessary distinction as a performer, turning his attention rather to composition. In 1846 he left home and went to earn his living in Paris as a teacher and organist, winning particular fame in the second capacity at the newly built church of Ste Clotilde, with its Cavaillé-Coll organ. He drew to himself a loyal and devoted circle of pupils and in 1871 won some official recognition as the nominated successor of Benoist as organ professor at the Conservatoire. A man of gentle character, known to his pupils as ‘Pater seraphicus’, he exercised considerable influence through his classes and performances although he remained, as a composer, something of an outsider in a Paris interested largely in opera.

Orchestral Music

Franck’s best-known orchestral works are the Symphonic Variations for solo piano and orchestra and the Symphony in D minor, completed in 1888 and first performed at a Conservatoire concert the following year. A brief series of symphonic poems includes the early Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne (‘What is heard on the mountain’), based on Victor Hugo’s Le Chasseur maudit (‘The Accursed Huntsman’); Les Djinns, again after Hugo; and Psyché, a symphonic poem with chorus.

Sacred Music

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Discography


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5:29:04 AM Saturday, December 20, 2014  -211-