CD case event, review. FRANCK: complete chamber music (4 cd Fuga Libera) – To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Cesar Franck (1822 – 1890), born in Liège but a primordial genius of French music at the time of total Wagnerism, the publishing house Fuga libera publishes several boxes whose merit in the form of thematic integrals offers a revaluation of his writing: here is the chamber music component. Everything is there: around the Quintet for keyboard (essential milestone of 1878) and the Sonata (for violin/piano), a jewel of 1886, the listener can thus measure the Francoist genius in stature and instrumental dialogue, this in two parts: one related to youth (specific to the 1840s); the second fixing late developments (ie the 1880s). Beneath a pleasant and calm face, the pianist and composer Franck seethes; his Trio written from the age of 12, marked by Alkan, expresses the contrasts of a fiery temperament, probably already initiated by Reicha (Berlioz’s teacher), already crackling and strongly contrasted, which his father quickly naturalized so that the child prodigy entered the Paris Conservatory (1837). We thus follow the young author and soloist who appears, driven by the ambition of a rather jealous businessman father; Paris discovers her 4 trios for piano/violin / cello from 1843, the first of which inaugurates the cyclic form that promised to become emblematic, and the 4th (developed from the last movement of the 3rd) is dedicated to his “friend” Liszt, already a great admirer of the architect Franck. No more committed performers could be heard in this timely ensemble at the time of the bicentennial.
A very unique volcano actually burns in each of these scores, but channeled and made explicit in an incomparable domain of formal development. All aspects of a sensibility both chiseled and eruptive come to light: the (rare) Fantasies for piano, the free form of the “piano solo”, with accompaniment; I’Andantino still with more peaceful contours (specific to the Master “Séraphin”). These debuts for the Parisian salons amaze and captivate.
Then the pianist became a master of the organ, returning to chamber music only in the years… 1880; more than 30 years after the first dazzle of him.
The box allows evaluating the nuggets of this new decade; these new realizations, produced by the professor of the Conservatory since 1871 who speaks of both composition and organ…” reading piece » (1877) opens the cycle of full maturity, where the educational value of the corpus does not sacrifice anything to the aesthetic requirement (« Melancholia », 1885: a true solfeggio lesson and a work in its own right): the 2 works are reproduced here in version for piano and violin.
the fabulous” Quintet in F minor » of 1878, composed or not in the tumult of a supposed and still unproven relationship between Franck and Augusta Holmès, prevails here for its emotional foundation, its raw and austere breadth, concerned and frank, modest and sparkling.
The same irresistible and conquering drunkenness here again proudly and completely assumed for the Sonata for violin and piano which regenerates by the genius of its Beethovenian construction, the Sonata genre in 1886 when it had fallen into total disuse… The consecrated Eugène Ysaÿe sublimates it and defends it throughout Europe, arousing unprecedented enthusiasm (transcription for piano and cello). The box also offers a new anthological version of the famous “Quatuor” (single summit, dating from 1890), later setting the study of Schubert, Brahms, Beethoven: in the gesture of Ornament Quartet, Franck distills there the secrets of his cyclical art where the generative theme deduces the entire development with clarity and power (lied and sonata forms combined in the first movement). Here radiates the balance of architecture, moving and multiple as it may be, expressing the living complexity of earthly experience. In these 4 CDs, the interpretation benefits from the complicity or even from the exemplary fusion between “masters” and young instrumentalists, here associated within the Queen Elisabeth Chapel; an emotional liveliness between pedagogy and artistic fullness that Franck himself, a generous mentor, would certainly not have underestimated.
CD case event, review. CESAR FRANCK: full chamber music: Full Chamber Music (Fuga Libera 4 cd) – Various artists, including Franck Braley, Alexandre Chenorkian, Leon Blekh, salih Can Gevrek, Shuichi Okada, Jonathan Fournel, Lorenzo gatto, Stéphanie Huang,… Duration: about 5 hours (recordings made between 2019 and 2022). againstCLASSIQUENEWS LICENSE spring 2022.
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