César Franck: the “Pater Seraphicus” of modern French music

César Franck: the “Pater Seraphicus” of modern French music
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img.: César Franck at organ, via Europeana.

In the framework of the collaboration with Europeana, the European digital library, PHOTOCONSORTIUM has provided a blogpost for the Thematic Collection on Music, that allowed for a cross-over with the Collection on Migration and is enriched with nice vintage images. It is focused on the story of Belgian composer César Franck, who emigrated and established his career in France.

Sofie Taes, musicologist and curator of the Europeana Photography Collection for PHOTOCONSORTIUM/KU Leuven, zooms in on the life and work of this brave Belgian who played an important role in French music. With his breathtaking organ playing, highly individual teaching method and the talented students of the ‘bande à Franck’, César Franck has extensively influenced the course of early modern French music history. Yet it is as a proficient and original composer that he is most fondly remembered today.

Franck was a keyboard wizard, thus his compositions for organ and harmonium in particular reflect the technical mastery and the sometimes startling modernity of his musical language. He also has a true gift for writing wondrous melodies – often jagged yet streamlined, meandering fancifully before reaching their necessary conclusion.

Read the full blog on Europeana Pro

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