Music by Cesar Franck!
Quintet for Piano and Strings in F Minor,
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major
Performed by: The Schubert Ensemble
I have always enjoyed the music of Cesar Frank, and the reason is that I connect with its emotional content. One of the things that is so interesting for me is that both of these compositions evoke a similar emotional response, and both works need to be performed with a lot of passion.
The Franck quintet brought its composer into the ranks of world-class composers. Back in the 1800’s, however, two people were much discomforted at its premiere: Frank’s wife, who saw in the surging passion something rather uncomfortable. The second, composer Camille Saint-Saens, was disgusted with such a naked display of passion. As such, the Quintet of 1880 was something of a watershed in chamber music, both with regard to its originality and emotional tumults, and it immediately divided the musical world into two camps.
It was after he died that Franck’s music became quite popular. The popular works include: the Symphony, the Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra (1885), the A major Violin Sonata (1886), his Prelude, Chorale and Fugue for solo piano (1884) and his Prelude, Aria and Finale (1887 and his Piano Quintet.
Both the Sonata for Violin and Piano, as well as the Quintet are beautifully performed by the Schubert ensemble.
Here is a sample, performed by a different group: