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Konstantin Reymaier

Cesar Franck - Trois Pieces & Trois Chorals

Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: November 25, 2022

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1 No. 1, Fantaisie in A Major (Andantino) 13:50  
2 No. 2, Cantabile in B Major (Non troppo lento) 06:38  
3 No. 3, Pièce héroïque in B Minor (Allegro maestoso) 09:00  
4 Andantino in A-Flat Major, CFF 86 04:06  
5 No. 1 in E Major 16:09  
6 No. 2 in B Minor 14:06  
7 No. 3 in A Minor 12:58  
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2022 marks the bicentenary of César Franck, undoubtedly one of the most prolific composers in 19th century France. Of German ancestry, born in Liège, Belgium, he made his career in Paris. He left a substantial oeuvre of orchestral, choral and chamber music as well as pieces for piano and organ. He was one of the first musicians to take up the harmonic developments of Richard Wagner, and transformed them into his own unique musical language which in turn shaped the further development of French music.

Among his most beautiful and poetic works are two sets of pieces written for the organ: Trois piéces and Trois chorals. The first set was written for the inauguration of the organ in the Palais du Trocadéro, built for the Exposition Universelle (or World’s Fair) of 1878. The second was composed over the course of two months in the summer of 1890; Franck died in November of the same year, and the works were published posthumously in 1891.  

While most recordings of Franck’s music use historical instruments by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, this recording features the large organ at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna which was completed in 2020 and has attracted great international attention, due to its tonal qualities. Naturally, they are different to the sounds Franck himself would have had at his disposal. Nevertheless, the softness and sheer abundance of colours make it very suitable for these pieces and show their orchestral qualities in a different light. The present recording includes detailed and insightful liner notes by organist Konstantin Reymaier.

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