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The Piano in France with David Dubal: César Franck

César Franck

César Franck

Sunday, February 8 at 5:00 pm

David’s theme this week is César Franck, Classical Music’s Late Bloomer.

A bit more about the composer from All Music:

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. Born in 1822, he led a group of young composers, among them d’Indy, Duparc, and Dukas, who found 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.

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.

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