24
24
Franck, César
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF  THE “CHORAL II” IN B MINOR FOR ORGAN [MOHR 39]
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 35,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
24
Franck, César
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF  THE “CHORAL II” IN B MINOR FOR ORGAN [MOHR 39]
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 35,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Musical Manuscripts

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London

Franck, César
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF  THE “CHORAL II” IN B MINOR FOR ORGAN [MOHR 39]
Final draft of the complete work, differing in a few details from the published version, unsigned, dated at the end “14 7bre”, organ registration added throughout, notated in brown ink on four systems per page, each of three staves 

17 pages, large 4to (35.5 x 27cm), 14 September [1890] 


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Literature

J.-M. Fauquet, César Franck (1999), CFF 106.

Catalogue Note

The three organ Chorals are among the most enduringly popular works in the nineteenth-century organ repertory and are regarded among the finest works of Franck, showing to the last his mastery of thematic transformation evident in other masterpieces such as the Violin Sonata and the Symphony. Norman Demuth has described them as works “of a substance and inspiration which place them amongst the greatest music. They represent the acme of Franck’s creative effort and they closed his life” (César Franck, London, 1949, p.112). They were the composer’s final works, completed before he was overcome by illness. Vincent D’Indy describes Franck dragging himself to the organ loft at Ste Clothilde in order to refine the organ registration, the combination of stops used throughout the pieces. In the present manuscript, dated less than two months before Franck’s death, the registration is supplied by him. Not all the details reached the first publication which appeared posthumously. 

The multi-sectional second Choral unites techniques of earlier centuries, passacaglia and fantasia with Franck’s own thematic transformation in a rich, modern harmonic language often pushing the boundaries of tonality. Wagner’s Parsifal, which Franck heard in Bayreuth in 1882, stalks these pages as surely is in other fin de siècle mystical works such as Elgar’s Gerontius. The chefs d’oeuvres of French twentieth-century by Jehan Alain and Messiaen have their origins in such works by César Franck, the great master of nineteenth-century organ music. 

Musical Manuscripts

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London