Piano quintet f minor by Cesar Franck

In my another blog written in Japanese, I found a post in 2007 that had told of a QSO with John 9V1VV. In that QSO, he told me that he had loved the piano quintet of Cesar Franck, which I have totally forgotten. I was surprised to know he loved such a chamber music in the modern era. I knew his best music era was the Baroque.

In Youtube, there is a historical performance of this music by Richter and Borodin Quartet. The performers, especially Richter, are not self-asserting but are only letting their performance express what this class work is. Beautiful, faithful and classy. The 2nd movement is, in my view, one of the most beautiful musics in the history. This piece as well as his other musics tells what personality, most honest, faithful and earnest, he had. That must be the reason why there were so many composers learning from him, directly or indirectly, who have been named as Franckists.

I have played the 1st movement of this music twice. The first time was at a small concert for farewell to the graduates at the university orchestra. The pianist, a quiet girl majoring in music, has played it, I remember, as if she had become insane. The other chance to play it was when I came back in music around 50 years of age. The string players and the pianist were all good friends of mine. Another fond memory. I am still feeling thankful for them all giving me chances to feel this wonderful piece closer to myself.

This is an unforgettable music for me in multiple meanings.


  1. Shin,
    I had not listened to the quintet for several years until I saw your blog. I have just listened to the Richter version on You Tube. You are so lucky to be able to perform in this piece. It was a favourite of my parents, who had it on a very old monophonic vinyl LP. So long ago I forgot who the musicians were.
    Perhaps if not for the childhood association this would not be a favourite: music can be loaded with memories and nostalgia. Thanks for the posting!

    1. Yes, music is deeply related with memory through emotion, I guess. You have been raised by great parents in a wonderful family. Boy, it has been a long time since we often talked on music etc on the radio. See you soon.