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: Music For Piano & Orchestra / Åberg, Kamu
Release Date: 09/22/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 137   Number of Discs: 1
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Franck: Symphony in D Minor & Les Eolides / Masur, New York Philharmonic
Release Date: 04/15/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554933  
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Franck: Complete Organ Works / David Sanger
Release Date: 03/25/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 214   Number of Discs: 2
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Prokofiev, Franck: Cello Sonatas;  Fauré / Hans Pålsson, Etc
Release Date: 02/01/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 35   Number of Discs: 1
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Bach, Reger, Gigout, Bondeman, Franck / Bondeman, Forsman
Release Date: 03/08/1995   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 193   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M 8

Browse 1-25 of 165 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 2.
    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
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  • 3.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $239.98
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  • 4.
    Reve d'un enfant / Sophie Rosa, Benjamin 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
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  • 5.
    ...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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  • 6.
    Sviatoslav Richter: 100th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002270 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Nina Dorliac,  Oleg Kagan,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Yuri Nikolaevsky,  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Rudolf Barshai
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre String Quartet,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Conservatory Chamber Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $599.99
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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  ... 
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  • 12.
    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
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  • 13.
    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
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    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
    On sale! $24.98
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  • 21.
    Works For Viola & Piano / Peijun Xu
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 14012 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Vieuxtemps,  Darius Milhaud,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Peijun Xu,  Paul Rivinius
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    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: $68.99
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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    Franck, Grieg, Brahms: Violinsonaten
    Label: Farao   Catalog: 108085 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Edvard Grieg,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Markus Wolf,  Julian Riem
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    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
    CD: $16.99
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