Evening Masterwork: Franck’s Piano Quintet

Cesar Franck (1822-1890) and Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Symphony No. 6 in F Major by Cesar Franck

Evening Masterwork for June 30, 2020 – 7:00 PM on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9

Precision plays a key role in Cesar Franck’s Piano Quintet: the music clearly reveals the artistic lineage of Franck – mostly the Germanic tradition – and the counterpoint is, stylistically, exact. The piece is also expressive, calling time after time again for the most dramatic range of dynamics. In fact, that broad dynamic writing is unlike any other piece in the French chamber-music repertoire that had come before. Audiences loved the piece right away, but it may have had a little bit to do with the pianist who premiered it: Cesar Franck’s colleague, Camille Saint-Saens. Franck even gave Saint-Saens a signed manuscript during a curtain call as a token of gratitude. It’s our Evening Masterwork tonight at 7 on Classical WSMR.