Eduard Franck (1817-1893)
The composer, pianist and conductor Eduard Franck (1817–1893) was born into a cultivated and art–loving family of bankers in Breslau (now Wrocław in Poland). In 1834, his brother Hermann arranged for him to study in Düsseldorf with his friend – and Eduard’s musical hero – Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. After spending a profitable and congenial year with Mendelssohn, Franck returned to Breslau to complete his general education. He rejoined his mentor in Leipzig and there became part of the city’s musical circle, befriending the English composer and pianist William Sterndale Bennett, the violinist Ferdinand David and Robert Schumann.
While continuing to perform and compose prolifically, Franck also established an excellent reputation as a teacher at conservatories in Cologne (1851–1859), Berne (1859–1867) and Berlin (1867–1892). He died in Berlin on December 1, 1893. At home Eduard Franck was considered a pioneer of musical Romanticism. His friendly relationships with Robert Schumann, William Sterndale Bennett and – especially – with Mendelssohn, showed him his future path and it’s not surprising, that these role models had a profound influence on the young man. The very successful reception of a number of other works led to an appointment at the Rhenish Music School in Cologne in 1851, as a teacher of piano, score reading and music theory; from1852 he also became director of the Municipal Choral Society. His close personal and professional contact with Ferdinand Hiller, under whose leadership the school developed into one of the leading institutions of its kind in Germany, proved very productive.
In 1859 Franck moved to Berne, becoming director of the newly established music school. Honoured with title of Professor honorarius and a doctorate, he was responsible for the musical life of both city and university. Books on the history of the Conservatory and manuscripts of several piano sonatas serve as reminders of his time there. However, he continued to show restraint when it came to publishing his works, which was obviously due to his strong self–criticism. In 1867 Julius Stern succeeded in obtaining Eduard Franck for his new conservatory in Berlin and from 1878 to 1892, into his late seventies, he taught at Breslaur’s Conservatory.
Edition of printed and posthumous works
In close cooperation with the composer’s descendants, Paul Feuchte (Freiburg) and Andreas Feuchte (Hamburg), we have planned an edition of printed and posthumous works by Eduard Franck intended to highlight his compositional output and make it completely available in a unified, published format for the first time.
Sonatas for Violin and Pianoforte
- Nr. 1 c-Moll op. 19
- Nr. 2 A-Dur op. 23
- Nr. 3 E-Dur op. 60
- Nr. 4 D-Dur op. posth.
- Nr. 1 Es-Dur op. 41
- Nr. 2 D-Dur op. 50
Sonatas for Violoncello and Pianoforte
- Nr. 1 D-Dur op. 6
- Nr. 2 F-Dur op. 42
Concerto No. 1 for Pianoforte and Orchester op. 13
Piano Trio E major (WoO)