Bourgie Hall presents

Pentaèdre and friends: Franck’s Symphony

This concert provides the opportunity to experience César Franck in an unusual way, featuring his Symphony in D minor and the very moving Prelude, Fugue, and Variation for organ, both arranged by Mathieu Lussier.

Born in Liège, Belgium, César Franck, became a key figure in the French music world at the end of the nineteenth century. He received his early music training from 1831 at the Liège Conservatoire in the classes of Jalheau (piano) and Daussoigne (harmony). Four years later, shortly after making his concert début, he moved with his family to Paris, where he studied with Reicha, then at the Conservatoire with Zimmerman (piano), Leborne (counterpoint), Berton (composition) and Benoist (organ).

However, in 1842, his father, wishing his son to concentrate on a career as a virtuoso, withdrew him from the Conservatoire, putting an end to his promising studies there, and took his family back to Belgium. Three years later, having left home after a family quarrel, Franck returned to Paris alone. To support himself, he gave private lessons, taught at various schools and institutions and held several positions as organist.

His situation remained somewhat precarious until 1859, when he was appointed organist of the church of Sainte-Clotilde, where he showed exceptional skill at improvisation. Reputed as a teacher, he became professor of organ at the Conservatoire in 1871 and influenced many artists, including Chausson, d’Indy, Duparc, Vierne and Tournemire. He was one of the founder members of the Société Nationale de Musique, and he became its president in 1886. The works he left show strength and depth, with great mastery of style and constant concern for formal perfection. They include his symphonic poems and organ works, the oratorios Rédemption and Les Béatitudes, the Piano Quintet, the Violin Sonata and his Symphony in D minor.

Valérie Milot, harp
Jean-Willy Kunz, organ
Étienne Lafrance, double bass

Ariane Brisson, flute
Élise Poulin, oboe
Martin Carpentier, clarinet
Louis-Philippe Marsolais, French horn
Mathieu Lussier, bassoon and arrangements

Prelude, Fugue, and Variation in B minor, Op. 18, FWV 30 (transc. for wind quintet by Mathieu Lussier)
Symphony in D minor, (arr. for wind quintet, harp, organ, and double bass by Mathieu Lussier)

Presented as part of the Festival Palazzetto Bru Zane Montréal
César Franck is the main focus of this third edition of the Palazzetto Bru Zane Festival. The vocation of the Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de Musique Romantique Française is the rediscovery and international promotion of the French musical heritage of the long nineteenth century (1780-1920). Its interests range from chamber music to the orchestral, sacred and operatic repertories, not forgetting the lighter genres characteristic of the ‘esprit français’ of the nineteenth century (chanson, opéra-comique, operetta).

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at 7:30pm
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