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Franck Miniatures – Sheet music and recordings

Two piano pieces, one organ transcription and 14 harmonium pieces by César Franck are now available for download as Piano Street Editions and recordings:

Slow Dance (piano piece)
Dolly’s Complaint (piano piece)
Prelude to Ave Maris Stella (originally for organ)
14 Harmonium pieces

In César Franck’s keyboard music he clearly indicated in the scores for which specific instrument the music was composed for; piano, organ or harmonium. The harmonium pieces are however often performed on the organ. Some of those pieces are also suitable for the piano, while others are more problematic to perform on the piano, for example due to long sustained notes.

Our collection of 14 of the most characteristic harmonium pieces from L’Organiste is based on the selection by W. Mohr for Edition Peters’ well known publication of short keyboard pieces by Franck. They are beautiful and delicate little works. Despite their small format, most of them are more tricky than they sound like and can effectively be used for teaching purposes due to their great challenges in legato technique.

When we dealt with the fingering suggestions for our piano edition of these pieces, originally intended for harmonium, the question was to what extent to use the right pedal in order to achieve legato.
The present Piano Street Edition contains many examples of organ style legato fingering which can serve as studies for learning the fingering principles essential when playing more complex contrapuntal music such as for example the Fugues by Bach. However, when recording the pieces such fingering were not always used and I instead utilized the right pedal to achieve a more natural and pianistic style of playing. Which way to deal with this issue is up to each pianist’s own decision.


/henrik

  1. Pathan Krakauer Says:

    “henrik” wrote: [in] “recording the pieces such fingering were not always used and I instead utilized the right pedal to achieve a more natural and pianistic style of playing. Which way to deal with this issue is up to each pianist’s own decision.”

    Well, with all due respect,
    Today my fellow teachers use exactly the same reasoning to justify, en masse, their doing away with finger legato and replacing it with pedal – as much as it’s only possible; many transfer students I get tell me they were taught that to play legato means to use sustain pedal all the time, and they know nothing of holding the longer values longer, of finger substitution etc…
    This is the one, the only one, and en masse result of “leaving it to each pianist’s own decision.”
    And it’s so often implied today that doing it the “easy way” is as good as the “harder way”. When did it all change?
    Moreover, an experienced ear can hear the difference between finger legato and pedal-based legato (when the former is desirable and feasible). Should those capable render themselves unable to hear the difference?
    A little respect for the composers’ indications and the period’s performing practice could also guide us here. In Franck’s time, a piano-player found permanently prone to substituting pedal-based legato for the finger sort would have not been recognized as a pianist!

  2. Piano Teacher Says:

    Thanks for this post. You’ve got a very nice and interesting blog here. I always feel glad whenever I encounter people who have the same passion and love for music like what I actually have. I also admire your efforts to share your bright ideas on music. In this post, I was able to encounter César Franck and knew he was a Belgian composer, an organist and a music teacher – one of the great figures in Romantic music in 19th century. Anyway, thanks again for sharing and please keep on posting useful piano teaching resources. Have a nice weekend, my friend. See you around. Cheers!

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