Franck Sheet Music and Biography
César Franck was born on 10th December 1822 in Liége which is now part of Belgium.
Despite his talent, it was commented that he didn’t possess the social skills to support a concert career.
Education and Career
Franck displayed musical talent at an early age and received acceptance at the Liége Conservatory aged eight. At the age of twelve, his father took him on tour and then to Paris where he was taught by Anton Reicha then a professor at the Paris Conservatoire.
By the time he was fourteen, he had entered the Paris Conservatoire along with his younger brother. Due to not being French, his father had to gain French citizenship in order for his sons to receive acceptance. Franck won many prizes and whilst aiming towards the Prix de Rome he voluntarily left. Many think this was his father’s doing so that he could earn much-needed money from performing concerts and teaching. Franck performed in his own showy style gaining popularity, however after his father had a disagreement with the press they returned to Belgium.
In his twenties, Franck gravitated towards the piano and his work took on a more serious style. He produced the cantata ‘Ruth’ which the critics did not react favourably to and Franck withdrew from the public limelight.
He married in 1848 after walking out on his father who disapproved of his wife. Franck then settled for a quieter life and he became an organist and teacher.
In 1872 he became the organist teacher at the Paris Conservatoire. He was very popular with the students and earned the name “Father Franck”, however his individual style of teaching and popularity with students upset relations with the other professors. One of his pupils was Gabriel Pierné.
In the late 1870s, Franck began composing again and in 1879 started producing his best works including his Symphony in D Minor, Piano Quintet in F Minor, Variations symphoniques, Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano, and String Quartet in D Major.
Composer and violinist Frank Bridge was a particularly influenced by Franck.
Illness and Death
In 1890 Franck suffered a head injury caused by a collision with a horse-drawn trolley. This started a journey of ill health and his mobility became affected. Finally, he had to withdraw from his position at the Paris Conservatoire. Sadly when a cold turned to pleurisy he deteriorated and died on 8th November 1890, aged 67.
Franck Sheet Music Downloads and Further Reading
On music-scores.com we have a selection of César Franck sheet music in PDF format for you to download.