Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/571

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FRANCISCELLO.
559
FRANZ.

with which the great Alessandro Scarlatti accompanied him on the harpsichord. In 1730 he was at Vienna, where F. Benda, then a young man, was so struck by his style as to say that it influenced him for ever after. He is heard of afterwards at Genoa, where he may have died about 1750, but nothing is known.

[ G. ]

FRANCŒUR, François, violinist and composer, born at Paris in 1698. He entered the band of the Opera in 1710, was for many years a member of the king's private band, and for some time, conjointly with Rébel, manager of the Opera. He died at Paris in 1787. He published two sets of sonatas, which, according to Wasielewsky, show considerable progress in form and in treatment of the instrument, when compared with similar works by Rébel and other French composers of the period. It is worth mentioning as a peculiarity of his, that he occasionally employs the thumb of the left hand on the fingerboard for taking the bass note of a chord a proceeding hardly in accordance with legitimate treatment. He also composed a number of operas conjointly with Rébel, which however do not rise above the level of the period.

His son, Louis Joseph, an eminent violinist and clever conductor, was born at Paris in 1738, and died in 1804. He was first leader and afterwards conductor and manager of the Opera and of the royal band, and composed a number of operas. He also published a treatise on instrumentation, which Fétis considers a meritorious work.

[ P. D. ]

FRANK, Melchior, prolific composer of church music and Lieder, born, according to Wetzler's 'Lieder-Historie,' at Zittau on the borders of Saxony and Silesia, lived at Nuremberg in 1600, and was Capellmeister to the Duke of Coburg at the time of his death, June 1, 1639. Gerber gives in his 'Lexicon' a list of 44 works by him, now become very scarce. He did much to improve the instrumental accompaniment of songs, a point to which little attention was paid before his day. Döring ('Choralkunde,' p. 84) gives a list of 13 of his Chorales which survived him, among which 'Jerusalem du hochgebaute Stadt' and 'Wenn ich in Todesnöthen bin' are still sung. He is also said to have written the words of several hymns, 'Jesu wie ist deine Gestalt,' 'Der Bräutigam wird bald-rufen,' etc.

[ F. G. ]

FRANKLIN, Benjamin, born 1706 at Boston, U. S., died at Philadelphia 1790, claims mention here for his connection with the Harmonica, or musical glasses, which he invented or so far improved as to make the instrument practically available. [Harmonica.] The invention is described by him in a letter to Beccaria dated London, July 13, 1762, and printed in Sparks's edition of his works (vi. 245). That Franklin had considerable musical faculty is evident from his letters on Scotch music and on the defects of modern music (vi. 263, 269), which are also full of his happy mother-wit.

[ M. C. C. ]

FRANZ, Karl, player on the French horn (Waldhorn) and the Baryton; born in 1738 at Langenbielau in Silesia. His first post was under the Archbishop of Olmütz in 1758; his next under Prince Nicholas Esterhazy at Eisenstadt, where he remained from 1763 to the end of 76. His adoption of so difficult an instrument as the baryton probably arose from the fact that the Prince himself played it, and that Haydn composed much for it for his use. At any rate Franz played it very finely, and on leaving the Eisenstadt band made several tours, in which his performance on it excited the greatest enthusiasm. Like Abel with the gamba, Franz was accustomed to call the baryton the king of instruments. In 1787 we find him established in Munich as 'Kammermusikus,' and he died there in 1802. That he was greatly esteemed by Haydn is proved by a cantata for voice and baryton, composed by that master for him, and which he performed on his tours, singing and accompanying himself. The cantata was written à propos to the death of Frederick the Great, and begins 'Er ist nicht mehr! Tön' trauernd, Baryton!'

[ C. F. P. ]

FRANZ, Robert, born June 28, 1815, at Halle, Handel's birthplace, is the most important living representative of the German Lied. His reputation has been of tardy growth, and has apparently not yet reached its height. It can however be asserted, without fear of dissent from any competent judge, that his best songs will stand their ground by the side of those of Schubert and Schumann, to which they are closely related. Over and above their uniform and elaborate perfection of workmanship, in which it is difficult to equal and impossible to surpass them, they have a peculiar physiognomy and subtle charm of their own that is sure to endear them to singers and players able to deal with them at all. It is true that they have hitherto been 'caviare to the general,' and are likely to remain so for some time, and that 'the general,' as Franz has found to his cost, includes the majority of professed vocalists and pianists.

Nearer akin to the warm but contemplative enthusiasm of Schumann than to the passionate spontaneity of Schubert, Franz's songs are anything but cold, nor do they in any case smell of the lamp; they are reticent rather than outspoken, timid rather than bold, pathetic without conscious pathos, eloquent without studied rhetoric; always true, giving more than they seem to give, saying more than they seem to say; frequently naïf yet far from trivial, here and there profound, rarely ecstatic or voluptuous, not once perverse or dry or commonplace. All forms and phases of lyrical speech, as iar as the German language, peculiarly rich in songs, has been able to furnish the groundwork—from Luther's sturdy hymns to the love-ditties of Heine, from the primitive weal and woe of huntsman and soldier, the simple sounds of forest and field, to the classic finish and spring-like grace of Goethe and the nocturnal melancholy of Lenau—Robert Franz has set and sung. Without touching the highest heavens or deepest depths, he has illustrated with his music the entire world of German lyrical poetry.