Piano Concerto No.2, Op.11 (Franck, César)



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Publisher. Info. Holograph manuscript, 1836..
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General Information

Work Title Piano Concerto No.2
Alternative. Title Deuxième grand concerto pour le piano avec accompagnement d'orchestre
Composer Franck, César
Opus/Catalogue NumberOp./Cat. No. CFF 135; Op.011
I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No. ICF 41
Key B minor
Movements/SectionsMov'ts/Sec's 3 movements:
  1. Allegro maestoso
  2. Adagio
  3. Rondo. Allegro vivace
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 1835 or 1836
First Performance. 1837 February 23 possibly (partial performance at best at that time)
First Publication. 2004 – Ardez: Ediziun Trais Giats
Average DurationAvg. Duration 30 minutes
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Romantic
Piece Style Romantic
Instrumentation piano, orchestra (2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in C, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in D, 2 horns in B basso, 2 trumpets in D, 3 trombones, timpani, strings)

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There have been recordings of this work in 1984 (Musique en Wallonie CD- initially LP?, reissued by Koch Schwann in 1989, made available again in 2011); and a 2002 recording on Naxos (the only other recording this editor knows about, slightly slower at 31 minutes to 28 minutes on Koch Schwann.)

Dates from the year his teacher, Anton Reicha, dies, and in which Franck then attempted with the help of his father Nicolas-Joseph Franck to get into the Conservatoire. Robert James Stove writes about this ("Cesar Franck: his life and times", p.25 etc.) and mentions the two early piano concertos and other works, mainly in the context of Alfred Cortot's and others' later disapproval of them (or qualified approval). There may be a mention of the premiere date, somewhere...

According to Le Ménestrel @ BNF, 5 Mars 1837, Franck performed a fragment of one of his piano concertos on February 23 during the 62nd concert of L'Athénée musical. Which concerto of the two and which movement was not specified at this source, though perhaps the program note survives elsewhere e.g.