Franck

The French Composer Cesar Franck, was born in 1822 in the Belgium city of Liege. Together with his whole family, they moved to Paris to study privately in 1835. Together with his brother, who also played the violin, they performed many concerts during the beginning of their professional career.


Cesar Franck was in the beginning of his career mostly known for his organ playing. He wrote in the early 1860's many pieces for the instrument and was a church organist in many places in France and Belgium. The most famous pieces for Organ that he wrote were: 'Prelude, Fugue and Variations' and the three magisterial Chorals (1980).


Franck's religious believes were strong and some of his works, like for example the Symphonic poem 'Le Chasseur Maudit' shows this:

"Franck's best symphonic poem, le Chasseur Maudit (The Accursed Hunter) is about a count who dares to go hunting on the Sabbath and plays the consequences when he is consigned to being eternally chased by the pack of demons. For all his adherence to musical abstraction elsewhere. Franck conjures the action vividly' ('Classical music, the rough guide' Various writers. P.134)


The composition style of Cesar Franck, especially in the later works such as his only symphony (1888) and his violin sonata (1886) shows influences of the composers Liszt and Wagner. Especially with the reoccurring themes in other movements which are known as Cyclic-form writing. Though for other composers, especially for Liszt, these cyclic forms and progressive chromatism were programmatic, something that Franck did not include as much.


Franck can be seen as a French composer that looked beyond his nationalism. He studied the old composers such as Bach and Beethoven from which he adapted and developed his feeling for counterpoint and structure. The contemporary composers that influenced him especially were Richard Wagner and Liszt.