Franck: Piano Works / Korstick

Album cover art for upc 761203524228
Label: CPO
Catalog: 555242-2
Format: CD

Korstick, Michael

César Franck’s great Violin Sonata in A, arranged for piano by Alfred Cortot, forms the focus on our new solo album featuring the gifted and successful pianist Michael Korstick. “The version without disturbing scratching noises does indeed have its appeal,” Korstick ironically opines and then explains, “I know that I’m now making myself extremely unpopular with all violinists, but some things come across even better in the version for piano alone. One doesn’t miss the violin.” This is of course a controversial statement, especially since it refers to the embodiment of the sensuous romantic violin sonata. “The fact is that Franck almost always thinks starting from the organ,” thus Korstick’s argument continues, “and Cortot so genially distributed the voices of the octaves that the polyphonic structure becomes clearer.” The audience at its premiere in Paris in 1885 was immediately enthused, and most pianists continue to be so even today. Michael Korstick regards this work as Franck’s “most important, central solo piece,” and the Franck expert Jörg Demus views the Prélude, Aria et Final as one of the few “lucid” compositions of the late romantic period and pardons it for its difficulty in playing technique: “But what do difficulties mean when the emotional content compensates one for it in such a rich way!”

Price: $22.98