César Franck as a Pivotal Figure in the Revitalization of French Organ Music After the Revolution
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SubjectFrench Organ Music
Though widely known as a skillful improviser and teacher in his day, César Franck has been largely overlooked concerning the pivotal role he played in the revival of French organ music after the bloody and destructive Revolution of 1789. This dissertation presents evidence of Franck's importance as teacher, performer, and composer who served as a crucial bridge between the ruinous state of organ music after the French Revolution and the vibrant French organ school of the twentieth century. Chapter 1 presents the problem and provides background for the study. Chapter 2 presents an overview of the effects of the Revolution on the state, the church, and organ music. Chapter 3 is a description of post-revolutionary political developments, improved organ design and construction, and music education efforts that lead to the beginnings of recovery of French organ music. Chapter 4 is a detailed picture of Franck's educational, performing, and compositional activities. Chapter 5 reveals the significant influence and legacy of Franck as a result of his teaching, performing, and composition. The final chapter is a conclusion of the findings.