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"The most authoritative and comprehensive filmed survey and detailed exploration of César Franck’s organ music." Gramophone Magazine, DVD of the Month April 2015

David Noel-Hudson's playing “flows effortlessly... he balances poetry with a deep sense of form." Gramophone Magazine

“David Noël-Hudson writes beautifully (in the booklet's essay) and plays divinely … his playing is authoritative, expressive and shapely... If you're a Franck fan, or looking for a set of his complete organ music on both video and CD that is wonderfully recorded on the 'right' instruments, or if you're a Cavaillé-Coll aficionado, then this lavishly produced boxed set is for you.” New Zealand Organ Journal


César Franck (1822 – 1890) founded the French symphonic organ school with twelve great compositions, all of which are found in this 2xDVD 2xCD set. His Six Pièces (1868), described by Lizst as the most important pieces for organ since Bach, included the first symphonic organ work and set the bar for later composers such as Widor, Guilmant and Vierne. His Trois Pièces (1878) brought vigour and grandeur to a nation recovering from the Franco-Prussian defeat. With the Trois Chorals he created peerless masterpieces that are among the most popular works ever written for the organ.

Cesar Franck - Father of the Organ SymphonyAt the centre of this boxed-set are three films that explore his life and work. In Franck: Life of an Organist, Eric Lebrun, biographer of Franck, traces the most important events of his life and shows
how his organ music fits into his overall canon. In An Introduction to Franck’s Twelve Great Organ Works, David Noël-Hudson offers a textual analysis of all twelve pieces, including a groundbreaking thesis showing how the Trois Chorals can be seen as a single, cyclic work with three movements. In Franck and Performance Practice on the Organ, Joris Verdin demonstrates how to play Franck’s music in a historically informed manner.

All twelve works are presented over the CDs and DVDs, in stunning recordings on key organs built by Franck's great patron, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, including the magnificent instrument in the cathedral of Saint-Omer. In addition, various bonus tracks include movements from L'organiste, Franck's valedictory work for the harmonium. In sum, these films and recordings provide the content and context of Franck's greatest organ music.

Contents of Franck: Father of the Organ Symphony

DVD1 Documentaries – 165 minutes

  • Franck: Life of an Organist
  • An Introduction to Franck's Twelve Great Organ Works
  • Franck and Performance Practice on the Organ
  • The Organ at Sainte-Clotilde

DVD2 Demonstrations and Music – 184 minutes

  • Franck: L'organiste, or Harmoniumist?
  • Six Pièces
  • Trois Pièces
  • Trois Chorals
  • Bonus Tracks

CD 1 and 2 – 145 minutes

  • Six Pièces
  • Trois Pièces
  • Trois Chorals

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