Robert Franz

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Born: 28 June 1815 — Halle — Germany
Died: 24 October 1892 — Halle — Germany
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Life

German composer, was born at Halle on the 28th of June 1815. One of the most gifted of German song writers, he suffered in early life, as many musicians have suffered, from the hostility of his parents to a musical career. He was twenty years old when, his fathers animosity conquered, he was allowed to live in Dessau to study organ playing under Schneider. The two years of dry study under that famous teacher were advantageous chiefly in making him uncommonly intimate with the works of Bach and Handel, his knowledge of which be showed in his editions of the Matthaus Passion, Magnificat, ten cantatas, and of the Messiah and L’Allegro, though some of these editions have long been a subject of controversy among musicians. In 1843 he published his first book of songs, which ultimately was followed by some fifty more books, containing in all about 250 songs. At Halle, Franz filled various public offices, including those of organist to the city, conductor of the Sing-akademie and of the Symphony concerts, and he was also a royal music-director and master of the music at the university. The first book of songs was warmly praised by Schumann and Liszt, the latter of whom wrote a lengthy review of it in Schumann’s paper, Die neue Zeitschrift, which later was published separately. Deafness had begun to make itself apparent as early as 1841, and Franz suffered also from a nervous disorder, which in 1868 compelled him to resign his offices. His future was then provided for by Liszt, Dr Joachim, Frau Magnus and others, who gave him the receipts of a concert tour, amounting to some 100000 marks. Franz died on the 24th of October 1892. On his seventieth birthday be published his first and only pianoforte piece. It is easy to find here and there among his songs gems that are hardly less brilliant than the best of Schumann’s. Certainly no musician was ever more thoughtful and more painstaking. In addition to songs he wrote a setting for double choir of the 117th Psalm, and a four-part Kyrie; he also edited Astorga’s Stabat Mater and Durante’s Magnificat.

(Contribution by <skylands(at)optonline.net>.)


His father was born as Christoph Franz Knauth, but legally adopted the name Franz in 1848, when Robert was about 32.

(Contribution by Koenraad G.F. Vissers.)

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Wed 23 Apr: Trois Miniatures Pour quatuor à cordes, Premiere and workshop by the Arditti Quartet Milton court concert hall, Guildhall School of Music & Drama (London)
Thu 24 Apr: Von Hollywood nach Pankow - Hanns Eisler und die Frauen Arnold Schönberg Center Schwarzenbergplatz 6 1030 Wien
Sun 27 Apr: Godelieve Shrama + Wouter Snoei Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ Piet Heinkade 1 Amsterdam
Sat 3 May: Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC Presents “The Poet’s Song” Church of the Holy Apostles New York
Sun 4 May: Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC Presents “The Poet’s Song” DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 W. 37th St., NY, NY
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(1824) Ludwig van Beethoven: Premiere of Missa Solemnis op. 123, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
(2007) Peter Machajdík: Premiere of "Lasea" for string orchestra at the Concert Hall of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra in Bratislava, Slovakia.

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Picture of Robert Franz.
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Sheet music for Franz

[details ←] Index to the Solos Songs of Robert Franz
[details ←] Ave Maria Op.17 No.1 (Geibel) (F), vocal,
[details ←] Die Lotosblume Op.1 No.3 (Geibel) (Bb), vocal,
[details ←] Die Lotosblume Op.1 No.3 (Geibel) (G), vocal,
[details ←] Er ist gekommen (Ruckert) (Bb), vocal,
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