Cesar Franck Edition 23-cd
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
This remarkable release reveals the full breadth and genius of a creative career known to most merely by the tip of the iceberg: a small number of seminal works written in the composer’s final decade of life. Ceìsar Franck (1822–1890), although considered one of the foremost 19th-century French composers, was not in fact French by birth, but Belgian. He only became a full French citizen in 1873 after he had been appointed organ professor at the Paris Conservatoire. His career can be divided into three distinct periods, each characterised by the production of very different types of music. From 1834 to 1846, under pressure from his father, he concertised as a piano virtuoso, and most of the works of this period were written with that purpose in mind. In the decade following his marriage in 1848 he composed virtually nothing but became celebrated as an organist, and he would bring the spacious dimensions of that instrument to his sound world in the years to come. His ‘middle period’ – from about 1858 to 1879 – was devoted to the production of works for organ, church music and a series of monumental choral pieces on religious or biblical subjects. In these three decades he wrote virtually nothing for the piano. From 1879 begins the decade of his late flowering in the great chamber and orchestral works, ushered in by his well-loved Piano Quintet and containing the pieces for which Franck is widely known. Spanning all three periods were opera and his small output of 18 mélodies.