The Music Chapel celebrates César Franck

César Franck is part of the rich musical heritage that helped make Belgium a centre of attraction for musical life in the 19th century. The Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel was conceived by Queen Elisabeth and Eugène Ysaÿe, himself a close friend of César Franck, who dedicated his famous sonata to him.

On the occasion of the bicentenary of César Franck’s birth and on the initiative of Jérome Lejeune, the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, together with Outhere, its partner since 2007 (and the Fuga Libera label in particular), and the Bru Zane Foundation, with which it has already co-produced a complete concertante by Lalo and a Reicha box set, is offering the complete chamber music of Franck.

The specificity of this recording also lies in the emphasis placed on companionship, a specificity of the Music Chapel, since several of its Masters in residence (Augustin Dumay, Gary Hoffman, Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden), Associate masters (Frank Braley), Associate artists (Lorenzo Gatto, Julien Libeer & Jonathan Fournel or the Adorno Quartet), and very promising young artists in residence have joined forces to record it.

To record Franck’s complete chamber music today is obviously to highlight Franck’s genius once again, with great works that have travelled the world: the Sonata for Violin & Piano (or Cello & Piano) from 1880 or the Keyboard Quintet, a major work dating from 1888. It is also to be surprised by the (re)discovery of his early works written in the 1840s.

The quality of the performers, both young and more experienced, the preparation of this boxed set, and the care taken with the recordings themselves make this complete set a unique object in the discography dedicated to Franck.

The Music Chapel is honoured to be associated with the bicentenary of César Franck’s birth on the Outhere label, including the complete symphonic works of the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, the complete organ and harmonium works, and the complete chamber music by the masters and artists of the Chapel.

Bernard de Launoit
Executive President & CEO