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Eduard FRANCK (1817-1893)
String Quartet in C minor Op. 55 (1855?) [34.06]
String Quartet in E flat major Op. 54 (1847) [35.23]
Edinger Quartet (Christiane Edinger (violin 1), Alexander Kortschmar (violin 2), Igor Budinstein (viola), Katharina Maechler (cello))
rec. 7-9 Mar 2000, Sendesaal des Funkhauses Köln
co-production with Deutschland Radio
premiere recordings
AUDITE 20.032[69.29]


Here are two of the three surviving string quartets of Eduard Franck. All three have been recorded by Audite. Franck was a pupil of Mendelssohn who rated Franck's work very highly. Franck was the son of a family deeply rooted in the banking activity of Breslau.

The C minor quartet (Op.55) has a pattering, purposeful and almost ruthless Allegro. It is startling and really catches the imagination. The Allegretto makes for a rest after such unrelenting activity offering ‘stillness and the night’ from another age. The vivace third movement has a Hungarian restlessness of mood. In the mercurial finale the moods melt and move but the music is nowhere near as dark as that of the first movement. The Op.54 Quartet starts with a reverent Adagio of the same mien as the Adagietto of the Op. 55 work. The Olympian calm continues into the powerfully sustained second movement (Adagio molto espressivo). After two Adagios come two Allegros in which quicksilver restlessness and contentment are the order of the day.

In common with the other three Audite Francks the detailed booklet notes are by Franck scholar, Michael Struck-Schloen. The excellent audio qualities of the recording add lustre to these world premiere recordings.

Rob Barnett


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