String Quintet No.2 in C Major, Op.51
For 2 Violins, 2 Violas & Cello
The famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann, in his Chamber Music Handbook has this to say about Franck's Second String Quintet states:
"Eduard Franck's Op.51 String Quintet appeared in 1897. (Franck composed the work in the early 1870's but it was not published until after his death, when his son the composer Richard Franck, submitted it for publication) It is a work which is rich in invention, occasionally showing the influence of Mendelssohn. The opening movement, Allegro, begins with a lovely, lyrical melody and is followed by a more passionate second subject. The excellent Andante which follows begins in elegiac fashion and has an equally fine second theme which is both warm and inviting. The charming and tonally rich third movement, marked Menuetto allegretto, is actually a scherzo. The finale is a theme and superb set of variations. This is a work which is good to play”
Eduard Franck (1817-1893) was born in Breslau, the capital of the Prussian province of Silesia. He was the fourth child of a wealthy and cultivated banker who exposed his children to the best and brightest that Germany had to offer. Frequenters to the Franck home included such luminaries as Heine, Humboldt, Heller, Mendelssohn, and Wagner. His family’s financial position allowed Franck to study with Mendelssohn as a private student in Dusseldorf and later in Leipzig. As a talented pianist, he embarked upon a dual career as a concert artist and teacher for more than four decades during the course of which he held many positions. Although he was highly regarded as both a teacher and performer, he never achieved the public recognition of his better known contemporaries such as Mendelssohn, Schumann or Liszt. As fine a pianist as the first two and perhaps even a better teacher, the fact that he failed to publish very many of his compositions until toward the end of his life, in part, explains why he was not better known. Said to be a perfectionist, he continually delayed releasing his works until they were polished to his demanding standards. Schumann, among others, thought quite highly of the few works he did publish during the first part of his life.
The first and only edition of this work was published in 1897. It had no rehearsal letters, but we have added these. We wish to thank Eduard Franck's grandson, Professor Dr. Paul Franck and great grandson, Dr. Andreas Franck, for making the parts available to us so that we could bring this fine work back for contemporary players to enjoy.
Parts & Score: $36.95