Both men were also professors at the Paris Conservatoire. When Reicha died some ten months later, Nicolas-Joseph sought to enter both boys into the Conservatoire. However, the Conservatoire would not accept foreigners; Nicolas-Joseph was obliged to seek French citizenship, which was granted in His work in counterpoint was less spectacular, taking successively third, second, and first prizes between and
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He is considered as one of the most influential figures of the late Romantic period in the second half of the 19th century. In , he became the organist of the famous Basilica of Saint Clotilde where he worked until his death. The first compositions of this composer were published only in when he was 46 years old. From until his death Franck was professor of organ at the Paris Conservatoire.
As an organist, Franck was mostly appreciated because of his notorious improvisational talent. Although he wrote only 12 major organ works, Franck is considered by many as the most important organ composer after J. His compositions layed the foundation of the French symphonic organ style. Piece heroique, M.
For this reason it is not a religious composition. It continues the tradition of Beethoven, Berlioz, and other Romantic composers. Two major thematically contrasting ideas dominate the piece: the first is written in minor the heroic theme and the other is in major lyrical theme. At the beginning of the work, these two themes are presented one after the other.
In the middle of the piece, these two different ideas have a musical fight. Franck develops the themes and reveals their true melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic potential. At the last major episode, or Recapitulation, both themes are brought back, only this time the second theme becomes a triumphant and is performed with a Tutti registration. Because of the clash of the two themes, this composition has many similarities with the Sonata form.
However, in a classical sonata concept, at the exposition the second theme is presented in a secondary key, usually in the Dominant or in the relative major. It is important to point out that both themes here first appear in the Tonic key of B minor. Nevertheless, Piece heroique fascinates listeners and organists because of its chromatic harmonic language, sudden modulations which explore the range of major-minor scale, and very balanced form.
By the way, do you want to learn to play the King of Instruments - the pipe organ?
List of compositions by César Franck