(Born at Liège, Belgium, December 10, 1822;
died at Paris, November 8, 1890)
WHAT A characteristic figure is this artist of the nineteenth century, whose profile stands out so boldly from the surroundings in which he lived! An artist of another age, whose work makes one think of that of the great Bach! Franck went through this life as a dreamer, seeing little or nothing of that which passed about him, thinking only of his art, and living only for it. True artists are subject to this kind of hypnotism—the inveterate workers, who find the recompense of their labor in the accomplished fact, and an incomparable joy in the pure and simple toil of each day. They have no need to search for the echo in the crowd.
When Ysaye and Lachaume introduced Franck's violin sonata (in Boston) in 1895; when these and others introduced the magnificent piano quintet in 1898, leading musicians of this city shook wise heads and said with an air of finality: "This will never do." The string quartet was only tolerated, endured because it was produced at a Kneisel concert, and at that time the Kneisels could do no wrong. The Wild Huntsman, produced here by Theodore Thomas in 1898, was looked on as the work of an eccentric and theatrical Frenchman.
When Mr. Gericke produced the symphony in 1899, the storm broke loose. There were letters of angry protest. A leading critic characterized the symphony as "dismal." Several subscribers to the
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Publication information: Book title: Philip Hale's Boston Symphony Programme Notes:Historical, Critical, and Descriptive Comment on Music and Composers. Contributors: John N. Burk - Editor, Philip Hale - Author. Publisher: Doubleday, Doran. Place of publication: Garden City, NY. Publication year: 1935. Page number: 145.
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