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Hans Ryckelynck

In Flanders' Fields Vol. 70 - Joseph Jongen / César Franck

  • Type CD
  • Label Phaedra
  • UPC 5412327920704
  • Catalog number PH 92070
  • Release date 12 September 2011
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About the album

It is easy to link César Franck and Joseph Jongen. Both were born in Liège, which has for centuries been at the geographical, cultural and historical crossroads of the Germanic and the Latin cultures. The symbiosis of these was an essential element in the development of the highly individual styles of both composers. César Franck (1822–1890) was of German descent. He received his first musical education in his native city and at first intended to become a concert pianist. In 1835 he moved to Paris, where he continued his studies, at the conservatory. Paris was where he was to make his entire career, as a composer and as a teacher at the conservatory first and foremost, but equally as an organist, notably of Sainte-Clotilde, from 1858 until his death. In addition, Franck was a brilliant improviser, and there can be no doubt that the combination of his experience as a pianist and his organ playing greatly influenced the evolution of his musical language. In his first years his success as a composer was limited. Only a few of his students (d’Indy, Chausson, Lekeu and Dukas among them) were aware of the value of his work. Almost all of his masterworks were composed toward the end of his life: the Piano Quintet (1879), Prelude, Chorale and Fugue (1884) the Symphonic Variations (1885), the Violin Sonata (1886), Prelude, Aria and Finale (1887), and the D minor Symphony (1888). His artistic personality had taken its time to fully develop and to achieve complete maturity. Franck had little interest in the operatic style that was then prevalent in France and felt all the more strongly attracted by musical life in Germany. His music was deeply religious and at first rather serious, but in the last decade of his life, inspired by his unrequited love for Augusta Holmès, his music became more sensual and more passionate.

Recorded at Academiezaal – Sint Truiden, 21-23 December 2009 Sound Engineer + editing: Johan Favoreel Lay-out: Liesbet Lutin Producer: Luc Famaey
Front cover illustration: Emile Claus , De kastanjelaar (The chestnut tree), May 1906 oil on canvas, Liège, Musée d’Art et d’Art contemporaire 

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