César Franck


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 Liège (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 à 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
Fauré: Requiem; Franck: Symphony / Herreweghe, Zomer, Genz
Release Date: 06/11/2002   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 901771   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M 8

Browse 1-25 of 157 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Gidon Kremer In Prague
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250317 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  César Franck,  Maurice Ravel,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Oleg Maisenberg,  Gidon Kremer,  Elena Kremer
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  • 2.
    Maestro Vladimir Spivakov: Anniversary Edition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002300 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Rodion Shchedrin,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Spivakov,  Marina Gusak-Grin,  Larisa [Mezzo-Soprano Vocal] Pyatigorskaya,  Araks Davtyan  ... 
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov,  Vladimir Spivakov
    On sale! $54.99
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  • 3.
    Jascha Heifetz: Favorite Recital Pieces & Encores
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88875051042 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Howard Ferguson,  Karen Khachaturian,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Brooks Smith
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 4.
    Itzhak Perlman - Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002298802 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Igor Stravinsky,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Myor Rosen  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Daniel Barenboim,  Zubin Mehta,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
    CD: $104.49
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  • 5.
    Franck, Strauss: Violin Sonatas / Ehnes, Armstrong
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4141 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  James Ehnes,  Andrew Armstrong
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  • 6.
    Franck, Dvorak, Grieg: Works For Violin & Piano / Steinberg Duo
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6294 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Antonín Dvorák,  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  Louisa Stonehill,  Nicholas Burns
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Steinberg Duo
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  • 7.
    Brahms, Franck: Sonatas For Viola And Piano
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 1122 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Elzbieta Mrozek-Loska,  Zbigniew Raubo
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  • 8.
    Fin De Seicle: Chausson, Franck
    Label: Aparte   Catalog: 102 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Ernest Chausson
    Performer:  Rachel Kolly d'Alba,  Christian Chamorel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spektral Quartet
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  • 9.
    Kyung Wha Chung - Complete Decca Recordings [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002217700 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jean Sibelius,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung,  Phillip Moll,  Radu Lupu,  Myung-Wha Chung  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  André Previn,  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $66.99
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  • 10.
    Brahms, Franck: Violin Sonatas / Piekutowska, Anna Miernik
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 1128 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck
    Performer:  Patrycja Piekutowska,  Anna Miernik
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  • 11.
    Franck, Grieg, Dvorak: Violin Sonatas / Capucon, Buniatishvili
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 625018 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Edvard Grieg,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili,  Renaud Capuçon
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  • 12.
    Cesar Franck: Sonate For Violin And Piano
    Label: Phaia Music   Catalog: 45 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck
    Performer:  Inger Sodergren,  Annie Jordy
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  • 13.
    James Galway - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 302633 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 73
    Composer:  Arthur Smith,  Various,  Traditional,  Stan Lebowsky  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Sylvia,  Marisa Robles,  Phillip Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jörg Faerber,  Eduardo Mata  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Galway Pops Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
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  • 14.
    Franck, Strauss: Violin Sonatas / Steinbacher, Kulek
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 186470 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Arabella Steinbacher,  Robert Kulek
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  • 15.
    La Flute Enchantee - Debussy, Franck, Jongen / Heinzmann, Blumina
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 14318 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Jongen,  César Franck,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Hans-Udo Heinzmann,  Elisaveta Blumina
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  • 16.
    Faure, Poulenc, Franck: Violin Sonatas
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 81 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Francis Poulenc,  César Franck
    Performer:  Anne Lovett,  Giovanni Guzzo
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    Franck: Sonata For Violin & Piano (Arr. For Piano Trio); Three Chorales For Organ (Arr For Piano Solo)
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 31855 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck
    Performer:  Karl Andreas Kolly,  David Riniker,  Simone Riniker
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  • 18.
    French Cello Sonatas, Vol. 2: Franck, Saint-saens, Faure
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 553314 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Gabriel Fauré,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Paul Rivinius,  Julian Steckel
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  • 19.
    Grieg: Violin Sonata No. 2; Chausson: Poeme; Franck: Violin Sonata In A
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100040 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ernest Chausson,  César Franck
    Performer:  Callum Smart,  Gordon Back
    CD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    Schumann, Franck, Debussy, Poulenc / Anne Gastinel
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 40041 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  César Franck,  Claude Debussy,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Anne Gastinel,  Claire Désert
    Conductor:  Louis Langrée
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Liège Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    The Art of Arthur Grumiaux
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9116 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux,  Riccardo Castagnone,  Hans Altmann,  Hermann von Beckerath
    Conductor:  Frieder Weissmann,  Lorin Maazel,  Hans Müller-Kray,  Bernhard Paumgartner  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Poeme - Works For Violin & Piano  / Lisa Jacobs, Ksenia Kouzmenko
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72624 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe,  César Franck
    Performer:  Lisa Jacobs,  Ksenia Kouzmenko
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 23.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 24.
    Grieg: Cello Sonata In A Minor, Op. 36; Franck: Sonata In A Major, For Violin And Piano
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3319 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  César Franck
    Performer:  Rose Chancler,  Volkan Orhon
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    Reflections & Relationships / Senyshyn, O'Neill-Senyshyn
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1444 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  César Franck,  Jacques Ibert,  Larysa Kuzmenko  ... 
    Performer:  Yaroslav Senyshyn,  Susan O'neill-senyshyn
    On sale! $19.98
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