A major figure on the French musical scene in the latter third of the 19th century, César Franck was both a pianist and an organist, but it was the organ which particularly fascinated him and contributed significantly to his living and his reputation. Besides teaching and performing on this instrument, he also composed for it. As a composer he is credited with resuscitating French music, which had been quite thrown off-balance by the stormy outputs of Wagner and Liszt. This session will focus on the development of Franck’s musical language, mirrored in his famous Six Pièces for Organ (1868). Demonstrations of Franck’s mastery will take place on an extraordinary historical organ, thanks to our instructor, organist in the church where it is installed, and who will also introduce us to the historical concert harmonium of which few examples survive.
About the instructor: American organist Dr. Kurt Lueders has been an organist at the Holy Spirit Protestant Church in Paris since 1991. A former student of well known French composer/ organist Maurice Duruflé, he is the author of articles on many music-related subjects, and has taught, lectured, translated and published works pertaining to the organ and its repertory. He has several CDs to his credit (AEolus and Hortus labels) and has even advised on organ building projects in Europe.
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