Cesar Franck: Symphony in d-minor
The only symphony by Cesar Franck is a bit of a rarity these days, which might have come as a shock to concertgoers, conductors, and orchestras in the early-20th century. In the heyday of conductors like Bernstein and Karahan, Franck’s Symphony in d-minor was a piece that audiences loved to hear, and that conductors used to prove what they had. A handful of composers who came after Franck and his symphony criticized the work for its lack of expression, and stodgy orchestration. But the piece was more radical in Franck’s day than it lets on now, evident by his conservative wife being outraged over the morally compromising passion of the symphony. And the 1889 premiere was actually met with factionalism and feuding.