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César Franck: Father of the Organ Symphony

Franck At the centre of this boxed-set are three films that explore his life and work. In Franck: Life of an Organist, Eric Lebrun, biographer of Franck, traces the most important events of his life and shows how his organ music fits into his overall canon. In An Introduction to Franck’s Twelve Great Organ Works, David Noël-Hudson offers a textual analysis of all twelve pieces, including a groundbreaking thesis showing how the Trois Chorals can be seen as a single, cyclic work with three movements. In Franck and Performance Practice on the Organ, Joris Verdin demonstrates how to play Franck’s music in a historically informed manner.
All twelve works are presented over the CDs and DVDs, in stunning recordings on key organs built by Franck’s great patron, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, including the magnificent instrument in the cathedral of Saint-Omer. In addition, various bonus tracks include movements from L’organiste, Franck’s valedictory work for the harmonium. In sum, these films and recordings provide the content and context of Franck’s greatest organ music.

2 DVDs (330 minutes), with German, English, French, Italian, Dutch and Spanish subtitles, 2 CDs (145 minutes), booklet (52 p.)

The booklet contains a plurilingual introduction to the works, numerous coloured pictures and the dispositions of all registered instruments.

The CDs include the twelve great organ works of Franck, played on eight selected Cavaillé-Coll organs in Paris, St. Omer, Orléans and at the Abbaye de Royaument as well as on the Mustel-Harmonium from 1891.

The artists: Eric Lebrun, Joris Verdin, Olivier Penin, David Noël-Hudson, Jean-Pierre Griveau.

DVD 1: Dokumentaries
• Franck: Life of an Organist • An Introduction to Franck's Twelve Great Organ Works • Franck and Perfomance Practice on the Organ • The Organ at St. Clotilde

DVD 2: Demonstrations and Music
Franck – L'organiste, or Harmoniumist?
Six Pièces, Trois Pièces, Trois Chorals, Bonus Tracks

Recorded works:
Six Pièces (1860-1863); Fantasie en ut, Op. 16, Grande Pièce Symphonique, Op. 17, recorded at Cathédral Notre-Dame de Saint-Omer;
Prélude, Fugue et variation, Op. 18, Pastorale, Op. 19, Prière, Op. 21, recorded at Église Saint-Louise d'Antin, Paris;
Final, Op. 21, recorded at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saint-Omer;
Trois Pièces (1878): Fantasie en la, Cantabile, Pièce Héroique, recorded at Église Saint-Antoine des Quinze-Vingts, Paris;
Trois Chorals (1890): recorded at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saint-Omer;
From: L'Organiste (1889-1890): Poco Andantino in Des, Lento in cis, Quasi Allegro in D, Quasi Andante in D, Andantino in fis, Andantino in fis, Poco Allegro in fis, Recorded at Cathédral Sainte-Croix d'Orléans, orgue de choeur

Harmonium works:
From: Cinq Pièces pour Harmonium (pub. 1864): Offertoire
From: L'Organiste (1889-1890): Poco Lento in C, Andante poco allegretto in Es, Quasi lento in Es, Molto moderato in es, Allegretto in Es

„The most authoritative and comprehensive filmed survey and detailed exploration of César Franck’s organ music.“ [Gramophone Magazine 4/2015 (DVD of the Month)]

„Congratulations to these artists and to Fugue State Films for this quality musi-cal production!“ [The Diapason 12/2015]


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