Eduard Franck (1817–1893) String Sextets
Urtext edited by Nick Pfefferkorn [2vl,2va,2vc] 1882/1884
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Eduard Franck’s two string sextets, op. 41 in E-flat major, published in 1882/84, and op. 50, in D major, completed in December 1884 but published posthumously in 1894, fall mysteriously outside of their era. They are a significant addition to the rather concise repertoire for string sextet, joining the two works in this genre by Johannes Brahms.
Eduard Franck was one of the very few private students of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, who was himself a close friend of the Franck family, so that Eduard was firmly rooted in the Mendelssohn tradition. But what is particularly exciting in the sextets, is how he consistently further developed Mendelssohn’s immanent genre-defining tendencies, thus founding a conservative alternative to the Schumann-Brahms course.