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 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
Franck: Symphony In D Minor / Leppard, Royal Philharmonic
Release Date: 02/08/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28540   Number of Discs: 1
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Franck: Stradella / Arrivabeni, Laho, Cabatu, Rouillon, Van Mechelen
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Dynamic  
Catalog: 7692   Number of Discs: 2
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Schumann, Franck, Debussy, Poulenc / Anne Gastinel
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Naive  
Catalog: 40041   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M 8

Browse 1-25 of 185 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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
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  • 2.
    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
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  • 3.
    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  ... 
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  • 4.
    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
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  • 5.
    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
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  • 6.
    The Art Of Erica Morini -  Westminster / American Decca Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 40044 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Erica Morini,  Leon Pommers,  Walter Trampler,  Felix Galimir  ... 
    Conductor:  Artur Rodzinski,  Nicholas Harsanyi,  Frederic Waldman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Princeton Chamber Orchestra,  Musica Aeterna
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  • 7.
    The Art Of The Violin / Paidassi, Wagschal
    Label: Indesens   Catalog: 51 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gabriel Pierné,  César Franck,  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  Laurent Wagschal,  Solenne Paidassi
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  • 8.
    Franck: Violin Sonata; Prelude, Fugue Et Variation; Prelude, Choral Et Fugue
    Label: Piano Classics   Catalog: 52 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck
    Performer:  Domenico Codispoti
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  • 9.
    Sarah Chang: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 844172 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Prokofiev,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Chang,  Lars Vogt,  Wolfram Christ,  Georg Faust  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Sir Colin Davis,  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Cortot: Piano Arrangements / He Yue
    Label: Grand Piano   Catalog: 641 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  He Yue
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  • 11.
    David Oistrakh [5-CD Set]
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001931 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Viotti,  César Franck,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Taneyev  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Nicolai Malko,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Alexander Gauk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Great Chamber Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501064 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Tamás Szabo,  Gábor Fias,  Attila Falvay,  György Éder  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kodály String Quartet,  Auer String Quartet,  Villa Musica Ensemble  ... 
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  • 13.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
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  • 14.
    Franck, Strauss: Violin Sonatas / Dumay, Lortie
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4096 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Louis Lortie,  Augustin Dumay
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  • 15.
    Cesar Franck: Complete Chamber Music
    Label: Cypres   Catalog: 4637 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  César Franck
    Performer:  Tatiana Samouil,  David Lively,  Justus Grimm,  Korneel [Double Bass] Lecompte
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  • 16.
    The Very Best Of Jascha Heifetz
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 164862 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henri Vieuxtemps,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jean Sibelius,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Artur Rubinstein,  Arok Sandor,  Emanuel Bay
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Thomas Beecham
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  • 17.
    Danwen Jiang: Live In Concert
    Label: Soundset   Catalog: 1045 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  César Franck,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Danwen Jiang,  Walter Cosand
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  • 18.
    French Violin Sonatas - Franck, Ravel, Debussy / Tseng, Dzektser
    Label: Fuga Libera   Catalog: 597 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Yu-Chien Tseng,  Inga Dzektser
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  • 19.
    Alfred Cortot: Anniversary Edition
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 4907 Release Date: 11/19/2012   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Cortot,  Pablo Casals,  Jacques Thibaud,  Charles Panzera  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  International String Quartet
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  • 20.
    A French Recital / Sebastian Klinger, Milana Chernyavska
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 856 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Henri Dutilleux,  César Franck
    Performer:  Sebastian Klinger,  Milana Chernyavska
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  • 21.
    French Fantasy / Bachmann, Neiman
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9394 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  César Franck,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Maria Bachmann,  Adam Neiman
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  • 22.
    French Violin Sonatas - Pierne, Poulenc, Debussy, Ravel / Israelievitch, Matsumoto
    Label: Fleur De Son   Catalog: 58005 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Pierné,  Francis Poulenc,  Claude Debussy,  César Franck
    Performer:  Jacques Israelievitch,  Kanae Matsumoto
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  • 23.
    Brahms, Schubert, Franck: Sonatas For Viola & Piano, Vol. 2
    Label: Myrios Classics   Catalog: 8 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  César Franck,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Tabea Zimmermann,  Kirill Gerstein
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  • 24.
    Strauss, Franck: Sonatas; Finckel: Variations / David Finckel, Wu Han
    Label: Artistled   Catalog: 19602 Release Date: 10/05/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  César Franck,  Edwin Finckel
    Performer:  David Finckel,  Wu Han
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  • 25.
    Brahms: Sonata In G Major; Franck: Sonata In A Major; Ravel: Piece En Forme De Habanera; Kreisler: Liebesleid
    Label: Doron Music   Catalog: 4016 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck,  Fritz Kreisler,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Paul Coker,  Yehudi Menuhin
    On sale! $13.98
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