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Offertoire in g minor (Pièce symphonique) and Allegretto in D : when Franck meets Lefebure-Wely...

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Uploaded by: PLRT (03/26/19)
Composer: Franck, César
Sample Producer: Sonus Paradisi
Sample Set: St. Omer, Cavaillé-Coll 1855
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantique, Second Empire
There are two pieces :
- the Offertoire in g minor at 0:00 (it was later renamed "Pièce symphonique" when edited by Tournemire, a bit emphatically but not without some reasons) ;

- the Allegretto in D at 7:30.

Those pieces are somewhat "Franck before Franck". More precisely, they were written around 1855-59, roughly ten years before the Six Pieces. They show a Franck still composing in typical Second Empire period style, like did Batiste or Lefébure-Wély :
- the offertoire is somewhat parent of Lefébure's one in d minor, even if more serious ( by Aarnoud) ;
- the Allegretto is tiny small brother of another well-known Lefébure
( by Milan).

Nevertheless, we can find in the Offertoire many characteristic features of Franck's later compositions :

- an abundant thematic material, as in fantaisie in A : 4 themes ;

- typical Franck's melodic tricks ( see 2:04 and 2:50) he used very often ;

- a kind of a "loose and shortly ending fugato" in the middle of the piece (3:22), as in Pastorale , Grande pièce symphonique or 2nd Choral ;

- superposition of the two main themes in the last part (see 4:09 and 5:22), as in Fantaisie in A or Pastorale or 2nd and 3rd Choral ;

- around 4:15 , it's quite similar to some bars in the middle part of the Finale ;

- the general atmosphere has something of the PIèce héroïque.

The offertoire provides also an opportunity to use the typically French "pédale d'orage" at 4:41.

This music was obscured by the shadow of Six pieces, Three pieces and Three chorals. It is today largely forgotten and neglected. Sure the Offertoire is a sometimes emphatic and the Allegretto doesn't lack saccharine, but these pieces are IMHO highly enjoyable to learn and to play ; enjoyable to listen to ? it's your opinion which matters :-)

PS : they were edited by Tournemire in L'Organiste vol.2. But they are organ pieces, not harmonium
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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