FRANCK César, Prélude, fugue and variation for solo organ

 Published in 1868 as one of Franck’s 6 pièces d’orgue, the Prélude, fugue et variation was composed around 1860 and bears a dedication ‘à mon ami, Monsieur Camille Saint-Saëns’. The Prelude has strong echoes of Bach (as viewed through the prism of France in the nineteenth century), the flowing right-hand melody set against steady pedal notes. This is followed by a brief section marked Lento which leads to the fugue, in triple time. A held pedal note introduces the closing Variation, an elaboration of the opening Prelude, but now with a much more animated accompaniment. Franck also made an alternative arrangement of this work as a duet for piano and harmonium which he performed at a Société nationale concert with Vincent d’Indy.  


© Nigel Simeone 


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