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
Schumann, Franck, Ruzicka, Saint-saens /    	Valentin Radutiu, Per Rundberg
Release Date: 04/26/2011   Label: Oehms  
Catalog: 759   Number of Discs: 1
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Franck: Stradella / Arrivabeni, Laho, Cabatu, Rouillon, Van Mechelen
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Dynamic  
Catalog: 37692   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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Work: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M 8

Browse 1-25 of 170 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    111: The Violin – Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002523902 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Giya Kancheli,  Arvo Pärt  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Shmuel Ashkenasi,  Hélène 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  ... 
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  • 2.
    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  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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:  Martha Argerich,  James Galway,  Ivry Gitlis
    Conductor:  Martha Argerich,  Claudio Abbado
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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: $62.49
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    Reve d'un enfant / Rosa, Powell
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 123 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Maurice Ravel,  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Sophie Rosa,  Benjamin Powell
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    ...Con alcune licenze / Ivory & Reed
    Label: Ibs Classical   Catalog: 42015 Release Date: 02/05/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Paul Hindemith,  Alfred Desenclos,  César Franck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ivory & Reed
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  • 12.
    Franck: Violin Sonata; Bloch: Poeme Mystique; Krein: Berceuse
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1508 Release Date: 12/08/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Ernest Bloch,  Julien Krein
    Performer:  Zina Schiff,  Cameron Grant
    On sale! $13.98
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  • 13.
    Radu Lupu: Complete Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002402202 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Radu Lupu,  Vincent Zarzo,  Han de Vries,  George Pieterson  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Lawrence Foster,  Uri Segal,  Edo De Waart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 14.
    Yo-Yo Ma: The Classical Cello Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 513074 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Luigi Boccherini,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Ton Koopman,  Emanuel Ax,  Edgar Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Ton Koopman,  Claudio Abbado,  Kurt Masur,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $47.99
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  • 15.
    Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552439 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 77
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Ray Still,  Samuel Sanders  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster,  Daniel Barenboim,  Itzhak Perlman,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Martha Argerich: The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002364402 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 48
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Guy Touvron,  Gidon Kremer,  Alexandre Gurning  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Charles Dutoit,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Jörg Faerber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 17.
    Jean-Pierre Rampal: The Complete Erato Recordings, Vol. 3 1970-1982
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 552118 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Johann Melchoir Molter,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Aram Khachaturian,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Pierre Barbizet,  Robert Veyron-Lacroix,  Marie-Claire Alain  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Claudio Scimone,  Jean Martinon,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Trio Pasquier,  Les Solistes De Liège
    CD: $64.49
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  • 18.
    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:  Gidon Kremer,  Oleg Maisenberg,  Elena Kremer
    CD: $22.99
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  • 19.
    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,  Jorge [Tenor Vocal] Anton  ... 
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov,  Vladimir Spivakov
    CD: $54.49
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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    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: $108.49
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  • 22.
    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
    On sale! $21.98
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  • 23.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 24.
    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
    CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    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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