César Franck

Biography

Born: 1822   Died: 1890   Country: France   Period: Romantic
César Franck is an important composer from the latter half of the nineteenth century, particularly in the realms of symphonic, chamber, organ and piano music. His stage works were uniformly unsuccessful, though his choral compositions fared somewhat better. Born in Ličge (in the French region which in 1830 became part of a new state, Belgium), on December 10, 1822, he led a group of young composers, among them d'Indy, Duparc, and Dukas, who found Read more much to admire in his highly individual post-Romantic style, with its rich, innovative harmonies, sometimes terse melodies, and skilled contrapuntal writing. This group, sometimes known as "la bande ŕ Franck," steered French composition toward symphonic and chamber music, finally breaking the stranglehold of the more conservative opera over French music.

Franck was a keyboard player of extraordinary ability who had a short stint as a touring piano virtuoso before moving to Paris and throwing himself into musical studies. In addition, he was an organist at several major churches during his career, and his skills on the organ accounted in great part for his compositional interest in that instrument; his organ compositions stand at the apex of the Romantic organ repertoire. Franck was a man of strong religious convictions throughout his life, which often motivated him to compose works based on biblical texts or on other church sources. For much of his life he was organist at the Paris churches of St.-Jean-St. François and then Ste.-Clothilde, and in 1872 he became a professor at the Paris Conservatoire.

Individual and instantly recognizable though his music was, it owes a debt to Liszt and Wagner, especially to the latter's Tristan und Isolde and several other late works. He tended to use rather quick modulations, another inheritance from Wagner, and shifting harmonies. There is a Germanic ponderousness in some of his compositions; consider, for example, the opening of the Symphony in D minor of 1888, probably Franck's most famous composition. In this work, one hears a mixture of paradoxical elements so typical of the composer: for example, moments of peace and serenity barely conceal an undercurrent of disquiet. In this symphony, Franck, adapts the Lisztian-Wagnerian predilection toward cyclical structure and melodic motto to an abstract symphonic form. Another characteristic of Franck's music is extended homophonic writing, as exemplified in his choral symphonic poem Psyché.

Franck died in Paris on November 8, 1890. By the turn of the century he had become the leading figure associated with the "Old School" in France, while Debussy came to represent the "progressive" forces. Read less
Franck, Poulenc & Saint-Saens: Violin Sonatas / Carlock-Combet Duo
Release Date: 05/19/2017   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 0169   Number of Discs: 1
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Franck: Vioin Sonata - Chausson: Concert, Op. 21 / Faust, Melnikov, Saligon Quartet
Release Date: 07/07/2017   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902254  
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Schumann, Chopin & Franck: Piano Works / Slominski
Release Date: 04/07/2017   Label: Centaur Records  
Catalog: 3516   Number of Discs: 1
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Franck, Grieg: Violin Sonatas / Takako Nishizaki, Jenö Jandó
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550417   Number of Discs: 1
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Franck: Symphonic Variations; D'indy: Symphony On A French Mountain Air
Release Date: 10/04/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550754   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M 8

Browse 1-25 of 182 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Franck: Vioin Sonata - Chausson: Concert, Op. 21 / Faust, Melnikov, Saligon Quartet
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 902254 Release Date: 07/07/2017  
    Composer:  César Franck,  Ernest Chausson
    Performer:  Isabelle Faust,  Alexander Melnikov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salagon Quartett
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  • 2.
    Chopin & Franck: Cello Sonatas / Kloeckner, Fedorova
    Label: Pinao Classics   Catalog: 59472 Release Date: 06/23/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  César Franck
    Performer:  Benedict Kloeckner,  Anna Fedorova
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  • 3.
    Erick Friedman: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985395042 Release Date: 06/02/2017   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Erick Friedman,  Bruce Prince-Joseph,  Brooks Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Seiji Ozawa,  Walter Hendl,  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra of London,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Faure & Franck: Sonatas for Violin / Papavrami, Goerner
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 271 Release Date: 05/26/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  César Franck
    Performer:  Tedi Papavrami,  Nelson Goerner
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  • 5.
    Franck, Poulenc & Saint-Saens: Violin Sonatas / Carlock-Combet Duo
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 0169 Release Date: 05/19/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Francis Poulenc,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Carlock-Combet Duo
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  • 6.
    Szymanowski & Franck: Works for Violin & Piano / Pietsch, Eisinger
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 97726 Release Date: 05/05/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karol Szymanowski,  César Franck
    Performer:  Franziska Pietsch,  Detlev Eisinger
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  • 7.
    Tasmin Little
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10940 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Gabriel Fauré,  Karol Szymanowski
    Performer:  Tasmin Little,  Piers Lane
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  • 8.
    Bach & Vivaldi: Violin Concertos / Oistrakh, Konwitschny
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300841 Release Date: 02/24/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  César Franck
    Performer:  Igor Oistrakh,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    On sale! $18.99
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  • 9.
    Bach & Vivaldi: Violin Concertos / Oistrakh, Konwitschny [Vinyl]
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300843BC Release Date: 02/24/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  César Franck
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Beethoven & Franck: Violin Sonatas Arranged for Cello & Piano / Trainini, Burato
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95191 Release Date: 02/24/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  César Franck
    Performer:  Roberto Trainini,  Cristiano Burato
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  • 11.
    Pierre Fournier Edition: Complete Recordings on DG, Decca & Philips
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4796909 Release Date: 02/10/2017   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Edouard Lalo,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Max Bruch,  Ernest Bloch  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier,  Géza Anda,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan,  Giusto Cappone  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon,  Alfred Wallenstein,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Schumann, Beethoven & Franck: Masterpieces for Violin & Piano / Darvarova, Inoue
    Label: Affetto Records   Catalog: 1701 Release Date: 01/27/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Clara Wieck Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  César Franck
    Performer:  Elmira Darvarova,  Shoko Inoue
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  • 13.
    Reminiscences / Thomas, Libeer
    Label: La Dolce Volta   Catalog: 29 Release Date: 11/25/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Duparc,  Gabriel Fauré,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Camille Thomas,  Julien Libeer
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  • 14.
    Franck, Kurtag, Previn, Schumann / Hadelich, Yang
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2751 Release Date: 11/04/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  André Previn,  Robert Schumann,  György Kurtág,  César Franck
    Performer:  Joyce Yang,  Augustin Hadelich
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  • 15.
    The Warner Classics Recordings / Argerich
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 558208 Release Date: 11/04/2016   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Alberto Ginastera  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
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  • 16.
    Violincelle Francais / Cheng˛ Duo
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 88985366362 Release Date: 11/04/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  César Franck,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cheng˛ Duo
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  • 17.
    111: The Violin – Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002523902 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Giya Kancheli,  Arvo Pärt  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Shmuel Ashkenasi,  Hélčne Grimaud,  Giuliano Carmignola  ... 
    Conductor:  Heribert Esser,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Andrea Marcon,  Reinhard Goebel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Venice Baroque Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $168.99
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  • 18.
    Pinchas Zukerman: Complete Recordings on DG, Decca, & Philips
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002514302 Release Date: 07/22/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Midori,  Daniel Barenboim,  Marc Neikrug  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Charles Dutoit,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 19.
    French Fascinations / Lasocki, Bozek-Musialska
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 1225 Release Date: 06/24/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jerzy Bauer,  Marian Borkowski,  Romuald Twardowski,  Witold Rudzinski  ... 
    Performer:  Roman Lasocki,  Urszula Bozek-Musialski
    CD: $19.99
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  • 20.
    Ravel: Tzigane - Lalo: Symphonie espagnole - Franck: Violin Sonata / Gulli
    Label: Idis   Catalog: 6716 Release Date: 06/24/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Edouard Lalo,  César Franck
    Performer:  Franco Gulli,  Enrica Cavallo
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Ferdinand Leitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestral del Teatro Verdi di Trieste,  RAI National Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 21.
    Complete Chamber Music Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon / Pires
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002500602 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Augustin Dumay,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Jian Wang,  Renaud Capuçon  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 22.
    Martha Argerich: The Complete Sony Classical Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 532035 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  César Franck,  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Martha Argerich,  Ivry Gitlis
    Conductor:  Martha Argerich,  Claudio Abbado
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  • 23.
    Anne Akiko Meyers: The Complete RCA Recordings
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88875165752 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Akiko Meyers,  Li Jian,  Rohan De Silva,  Andre-Michel Schub  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton,  Dmitrij Kitajenko,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $22.99
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  • 24.
    The Menuhin Century: Complete Recordings with Hephzibah Menuhin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555055 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hephzibah Menuhin,  Maurice Eisenberg,  Maurice Gendron
    CD: $63.99
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  • 25.
    The Menuhin Century: Luxury Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555050 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 91
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $250.99
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