Richard Franck


Richard Franck (1858-1938) was a German pianist, composer and teacher. He was born in Cologne and was the son of the German composer, pianist and teacher Eduard Franck. His father, who had studied with Felix Mendelssohn and knew the value of good instruction, sent Richard to the prestigious Leipzig Conservatory where he studied with two of the leading teachers of the day, Carl Reinecke and Salomon Jadassohn. During the course of a long career, Franck held teaching positions at conservatories in both Germany (Kassel, Berlin, Heidelberg) and in Switzerland (Basle). Although he did not reach the front rank amongst his contemporaries, he was nevertheless well-respected as a concert artist and as a composer. Those critics, who were familiar with his compositions and his piano playing, regularly lavished praised upon them. For example, the prestigious Schweizerische Musikzeitung(Swiss Musical Journal), writing about his First Piano Trio, Op.20, enthused: „Powerful and full-sounding energy is shown in many works, not least in [Richard Franck’s] Op.20 Piano Trio, which is a magnificent, significant composition, fresh in invention, firm and secure in its development, and mature in its expression.“ The bulk of Franck’s compositions are for solo piano; however, he also wrote orchestral and vocal compositions as well as a considerble amount of chamber music. Though he and his music have been long forgotten, as oflate, his chamber music has be rediscovered and is in the process of being revived. His piano trios, piano quartets and two sonatas have all been recently recorded on Audite. Early in 2007, Edition Silvertrust republished the parts to his Op.20 Piano Trio, the first in a planned series of chamber works to be released.