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César Franck: The last Seven Words of Christ on the Cross; Three pieces for organ / Mainzer Domchor & Domorchester; Daniel Beckmann, organ

Album Summary

>Franck, César : Seven Words of Christ at the Cross, for soloists, chorus & orchestra (original for soloists & chorus
>Franck, César : Pieces (3) for Organ
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Among the remaining mysteries concerning Csar Franck's 1859 The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross the legitimate question of authorship no longer troubles musicologists; Franck did indeed pen this substantial, infrequently recorded work. Beginning delicately and clearly, and soon developing monumental dimensions, Franck also reached much farther than did Schutz and Haydn, making use of material from the Old and New Testament, as well as the Stabat Mater. The second part of the CD finds cathedral organist Daniel Beckman taking to the keys with the Trois Pices pour grand orgue (1878).

American Record Guide, May/June 2016
It is certainly competent. Franck seems to be interested in providing a pleasant meditation on these. It seems to me that Franck was deliberately aiming for a popular devotional style that reminds one of his familiar hymn, 'Panis Angelicus'. This is no reason not to enjoy its many fine moments, including the 3rd Word and the 7th Word (possibly the best movement). The performance is certainly winning, and the music grows on one. It is wonderful to hear the Mainz Cathedral choir, its sound beautifully blended and balanced. The Cathedral's expansive acoustics bathe the music in a fine ambience. This is a concert performance.

As for the Three Pieces, it is clear we are in another musical world. In these works, Franck is more concerned with absolute music, and the works are some of his best, challenging and forward-looking in form and harmony. They come off quite well, and there is certainly enough heft and body to the reed and foundation stops. The colors of the organ are quite rich, especially the lovely Vox Humana, and this performance is a thoroughly enjoyable one. Beckmann has a winning flexibility in his interpretation of these works, with a convincing liberal application of rubato and dynamic changes. (Contemporary accounts indicate that Franck played his music with great freedom.) And the heaven-storming finales are all one would expect. Production and sound are exemplary. A lavish 27-page booklet is supplied.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Mainz Cathedral (St. Martin) (04/06/2014); St. Stephen, Mainz (04/06/2014); Mainz Cathedral (St. Martin) (05/12/2015); St. Stephen, Mainz (05/12/2015).



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Works Details

>Franck, César : Seven Words of Christ at the Cross, for soloists, chorus & orchestra (original for soloists & chorus
  • Performers: Inga-Britt Andersson; Sebastian Pilgrim; Christian Rathgeber; Edwandro Stenzowski
  • Conductor: Karsten Storck
  • Ensemble: Mainzer Domorchester
  • Running Time: 4 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 08/14/1859
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Franck, César : Pieces (3) for Organ
  • Performer: Daniel Beckmann (Organ)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1878
  • Studio/Live: Live