Piano Quartet No.2 in E Major, Op.41
"The Piano Quartet in E Major, Op.41 is incredibly grateful to play and atmospherically written, full of poetical magic, blossoming with colorful splendor and scintillating with life. It passes through the instruments by turns stormy as the weather rearing its ugly head, sweet and tempting as the wafts of spring, brilliant and darting as fiery flames. It is full of energy, temperament and refinement."
So wrote the critic Cassler Allgemeine Zeitung in 1905 at a premiere performance of this work. Although Richard Franck (1858-1938) was a fine performer, and a respected teacher and composer, he never achieved real prominence. It was simply a fact of life, which befalls a many fine musician, and not really a reflection on him as either a teacher, performer or composer. Those critics, who were familiar with his compositions regularly lavished praised upon them as witnessed by the above critique.
Richard Franck was born in Cologne and studied at the prestigious Leipzig Conservatory to study with Carl Reinecke and Salomon Jadassohn, both of whom were among the leading composers and teachers of their day. After finishing his studies, Richard enjoyed a long career as a teacher, composer, and pianist, during the course of which he held several positions in Germany and Switzerland.
Franck's Piano Quartet No.2 was composed in 1905. Although it is in one movement, it has four subsections, Allegro, Adagio, Allegro and Allegro, so to a certain extent it retains a relationship with classical structure.
We need not add to the above critique except to say that players will find this piano quartet a very appealing work. Long out of print, our edition is the first in over a century.