Happy 200th Birthday, César Franck!
Performances of the Complete Major Organ Works
Friday, November 4 — Sunday, November 13 — Sunday, November 20, 2022
Canon Mark Laubach, Organist
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 35 S. Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Phone: (570) 825-6653 / Website: http://www.ststephenswb.org
César-Auguste Franck was born in Liège, Belgium on December 10, 1822 and died in Paris, France on November 8, 1890. In 1836, he and his family moved to Paris, where he spent the rest of his life. As such, he would come to be regarded as one of the truly great nineteenth-century composers in France. While he composed for a wide variety of musical genres, ensembles, and solo instruments, he was most widely known as a virtuoso pianist and organist. He composed well over 100 organ works, but he is primarily regarded among organists for his twelve major organ compositions, the Six Pièces (Six Pieces) composed between 1856 and 1863, the Trois Pièces (Three Pieces) composed in 1878, and the Trois Chorals (Three Chorals), composed in the last months of his life in 1890. Among organists he is widely regarded as perhaps the most important composer of organ music after Johann Sebastian Bach.
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Franck’s birth, Canon Mark Laubach, Organist and Choirmaster of Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, will perform the complete major organ works in a series of three recitals at Saint Stephen’s in November 2022. Each recital will be between 60 and 70 minutes long with a very brief intermission. Here follows a list of the dates and times of each recital, and the pieces that will be performed in each program.
FRANCK 200 RECITAL I — Friday, November 4 at 7:30 pm
Choral No. 1 in E Major
Prelude, Fugue et Variation, Op. 18 (from Six Pièces) Cantabile (from Trois Pièces)
Pastorale, Op. 19 (from Six Pièces)
Final, Op. 21 (from Six Pièces)
FRANCK 200 RECITAL II — Sunday, November 13 at 4:00 pm
Fantaisie in A (from Trois Pièces)
Choral No. 2 in B Minor
Grande Pièce Symphonique, Op. 17 (from Six Pièces)
FRANCK 200 RECITAL III — Sunday, November 20 at 4:00 pm
Pièce Héroïque (from Trois Pièces) Fantaisie in C, Op. 16 (from Six Pièces) Prière (Prayer), Op. 20 (from Six Pièces) Choral No. 3 in A Minor
There is no admission charge for attending these recitals, although free-will offerings will be gratefully received in support of Music from Saint Stephen’s and the Outreach Ministries (Food Pantry and Clothes Closets) of Saint Stephen’s Church. Canon Laubach is dedicating these recitals to the glory of God and in loving memory of Dr. Donald Gordon McDonald (February 22, 1925 – August 6, 2022), his organ professor at Westminster Choir College from 1979 to 1982.