Friday, August 14, 2020

Let's Be Franck

Cesar Franck [1822 - 1890]
Cesar Franck, born in Liege, Belgium, lived and worked most of his life in Paris, France.  He was a pianist, organist, music teacher and composer in the late Romantic era of music.  While not a prolific composer he did compose some grand pieces, especially those including the piano and organ.   

From Wikipedia:  "Many of Franck's works employ the "cyclic form", a method aspiring to achieve unity across multiple movements.  This may be achieved by reminiscence, or recall, of an earlier thematic material into a later movement..."  "In 1858 he became organist at Sainte-Clotilde, a position he retained for the rest of his life."

One of Franck's most well known pieces is his Violin Sonata [Sonata for Violin and Piano] in A-Major.  I love the final [fourth] movement of the piece.  This movement, scored Allegretto poco mosso, has a warm, happy mesmerizing character.  It is a great finale to this violin Sonata in A-Major.

Another popular piece from Cesar Franck and the most famous of his orchestral works is his Symphony in D-minor.  The Symphony in D-minor would be the only symphony Franck would compose.  While he composed only one, it is a good one.  This is written in three movements [instead of the usual four movements]: 1. Lento-Allegro ma non troppo; 2. Allegretto [at 18:37 in the second video below]; and 3. Allegro non troppo, [at 28:16 of the video below], that has a bold upbeat theme with a triumphant finale. 

Franck's organ works, especially his Trois Chorals, are some great stirring pieces written for the organ.  Sit back and experience this wonderful sound from the organ in his virtuosic, Choral 3 in A minor. 

So, let's be Franck - Cesar that is.

Please turn up the volume and enjoy three favorite pieces from this great Belgian/French Romantic composer.

Cesar Franck: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A-Major, Movement 4, Allegretto poco mosso:

Cesar Franck: Symphony in D-minor:

Cesar Franck: Choral #3 in A minor for organ:

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