FMPNmBnr14

Cesar Franck
(1822-1890)
Sept Pieces
en ut majeur et en ut mineur

( in C major and minor )
from L’Organiste
59 Pieces pour Orgue ou Harmonium

1.      Poco allegretto
2.      Andantino
3.      Poco lento
4.      Maestoso
5.      Poco lento 
6.      Poco allegro
            --  Moderato (Amen)
7.      Andantino    (Offertoire)

Transcribed and edited for organ by
Ennis Fruhauf
(12 pages)

Notes

       Cesar Franck, born in Liège, Belgium in 1822, pursued an advanced music edu-cation in Paris and went on to secure a career at the Conservatoire as professor of organ, and later as professor of music composition, in addition to his extensive ongoing musical activities at the Basilica church of Ste. Clotilde.

        Late in his career, the composer received a commission to write a set of pieces for organ or harmonium. He conceived of the organizational plan of a suite of six brief but varied movements, to be followed by a seventh that would contain and unify elements of the preceding six. His original intention was to write thirteen such suites, one in each of the twelve chromatic keys (C major and minor, D-flat major and C-sharp minor, D major and minor, and etc.), returning to C for a thirteenth suite, comprising a total of 91 pieces. He began work on the project in August, 1890, while on vacation in Nemours and soon completed 59 movements, along with the first of his three Chorals (dated August 7). He passed away in November of the same year, suffering from pleurisy that likely resulted from a carriage accident several months earlier; as a result, the project was never finished as intended. One of his devoted students, Vincent D’Indy, later undertook a re-edition of the 59 pieces, along with a second volume of thirty miscellaneous harmonium compositions gathered from Franck’s earlier years in Paris (1858 to 1863). This collection of two volumes was rereleased by Enoch & Cie., Editeurs (circa 1937).

        The first suite of pieces, in C major and minor, is one of the most telling and convincing of the set. The first movement is a brief prelude with a flowing cantabile soprano melodic line. The second movement, an Andantino, presents a wide-ranging sostenuto baritone solo, accompanied in the right hand. The Poco lento that follows contrasts brief phrases sounded first in the bass register, then echoed in the soprano range. The fourth movement marks a bold digression to C minor and triple meter: its Maestoso declamatory antecedent phrases are followed by contrastingly softer consequent responses. Next is an affetuoso Poco lento aria in C minor, followed by a quasi-scherzetto, in which the left hand sounds in active counterpoint with the right hand. After a brief Amen, the concluding Offertoire returns to C major:  treated individually, thematic units from the six preceding movements are woven into a subtle miniature symphonic sonata structure, yielding two-thirds of the way through to a bold fugato section, which in turn cedes to a quasi-recapitulatory statement and quiet closing.

        The editorial process includes rendering the suite into three-stave systems where necessary in order to accomodate idiomatic and convenient organ pedaling. All phrase markings have been preserved, and additional subsidiary ones have been suggested with dotted phrase markings. Dynamic marks have been preserved, supplemented by editorial indications of manual changes and occasional registrations and dispositions.



Navigate to

  Home Page   Organ   Order Form