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Cesar Franck

César Franck (December 10, 1822 – November 8, 1890) was a Belgian-born French composer, organist, and teacher. He was one of the most important composers of the late Romantic era.

Franck was born in Liège, Belgium, to a family of musicians. He began studying the piano at the age of four, and he later studied composition with Anton Reicha. In 1836, Franck's family moved to Paris, where he continued his studies with Reicha and François-Joseph Fétis.

In 1842, Franck became organist at the Church of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris. He held this position for the rest of his life, and he became one of the most respected organists in France. He also taught composition at the Paris Conservatory, and his students included some of the most important composers of the late 19th century, including Gabriel Fauré, Vincent d'Indy, and Ernest Chausson.

Franck's music is characterized by its lyricism, its beauty, and its use of counterpoint. He was a master of melody and harmony, and his orchestration is often described as being "transparent."

Franck's most famous works include the Symphony in D minor, the Violin Sonata, the Piano Quintet, and the organ works Panis Angelicus and Le Chasseur maudit. He also composed operas, choral works, and chamber music.

Franck died in Paris in 1890, at the age of 67. He is buried in the Montmartre Cemetery.

Franck's music is still performed and enjoyed by audiences around the world. He is considered one of the most important composers of the late Romantic era.

    César Franck composed Panis Angelicus in 1872 while he was professor of organ at the Paris Conservatoire.  The Belgian-born but ultimately French composer wrote some glorious music, brimming with intoxicating, inventive melodies. Although known primarily as a stand-alone piece, Panis Angelicus was also included by Franck within his Mass for Three Voices.  However, Panis Angelicus was completed in 1872 – twelve years after the Mass – so its inclusion was a rather belated affair. 

   César Franck was a precociously talented child, adept not just at composition but also as a concert pianist. His particularly demanding father placed considerable pressure on the young composer, urging him to teach alongside his studies. Despite the pressure from his father, the young César wasn’t dissuaded from following a musical path in later life.  And for that, we can be truly thankful.

    Franck Cesar (1822-1890)      
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