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César Auguste Franck

César Auguste Franck (1822-90)

Composer

Born in Liège, César Franck was a church musician for much of his life, acquiring a formidable reputation as an improviser at the organ. Unsurprisingly, a considerable proportion of his output is for this instrument, and some of his orchestral works - particularly his single Symphony, in D minor - show the influence of the organ in their instrumentation. Like Sergei Rachmaninov, he was blessed with unusually large hands, giving him a wide stretch at the keyboard and leading him to write piano parts that regularly feature intervals of a twelfth!

Further Reading: Franck, C

 Recording of the Week, Franck and Chopin from Gautier Capuçon and Yuja Wang

The two acclaimed soloists come together in a dazzling duo, with the rich warmth of Franck's Cello Sonata in A major sharply offset against the angst-wracked soul-searching of Chopin's in G minor.

 Recording of the Week, Franck and Vierne from Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien

The Russian violinist and French pianist bring a refreshing clarity and delicacy to two sonatas written for the Belgian composer-violinist Eugène Ysaÿe.

Popular Works: Franck, C

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