Monthly Archives: October 2014

Louise plays Franchomme and Fibich!

Happy Halloween!  Now a post for my own November 9th performance of Franchomme’s Variations on an Irish Air, and the ebullient Fibich Quintet, with four fabulous musicians.  Concerts in the Heights will perform this program in the elegant, intimate salon setting of the Morris Jumel Mansion.

Sunday, November 9,  3:00PM

Morris Jumel Mansion

65 Jumel Terrace, New York City (one block east of St. Nicholas  Avenue btw 160th and 162nd Streets)

Tickets ($35, $30 members, $15 students, seniors) include light refreshments. Call 212 923 8008 for advance sales.


More from CITH:  

National Romanticism and Immigrant Nations
This concert explores National-romanticism; a movement where an awareness of cultural heritage and folk-expression blends with the refinement of “high art”. We will trace this concept through several localities on their way to the ultimate immigrant nation of the United States. The focal point of the performance is the complete rendition of the rarely heard Quintet by Zdenek Fibich; a perfect example of a Czech composer using the classical forms combined with the nostalgia of melodies and harmonies from his homeland. Also featuring solo piano works by Chopin and Auguste Franchomme’s Variations on an Irish Theme for cello and piano.  Presented by CITH co-founders Violinist Monica Bauchwitz and Hornist Karl Kramer; Clarinetist Alan Kay; Cellist Louise Dubin; and Pianist Spencer Myer.

More about Franchomme’s Variations on an Irish Air (from Op. 25, published in 1841) in an upcoming post!



Dieltiens Studio Performs Franchomme and Boccherini in Amsterdam

I have just received this note from cellist Roel Dieltiens, preeminent interpreter of Franchomme’s works and a name familiar to many readers of this blog. In addition to being a fabulous cellist, he is also professor of cello at the University of Arts in Zurich. If you are in Amsterdam, check it out!

There will be something interesting for Franchomme lovers during the CelloBiennale of Amsterdam which starts after tomorrow. My entire cello class of the University of Arts of Zürich will perform there in the lunchconcert of the 23rd some Etudes and Caprices for two cellos. There will be also two sonatas for two cellos on the program from another cellist-composer who was not bad at all either: Boccherini…

The lunchconcert is on the 23rd of October at 12.30h in the „Bimhuis” Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam.  More information at

Best regards,

Roel Dieltiens


AMS post: Franchomme’s debut solo performance

©2014 Do not copy, publish or reproduce without the written permission of Louise Dubin

One of Franchomme’s many gigs was section (and later lead) cellist of the Paris Conservatoire Concert Society Orchestra. This group premiered many of Beethoven’s, Berlioz’s and Mendelssohn’s orchestral works in Paris (remarkably, many of Beethoven’s symphonies had not been performed in Paris yet!) Their artistry was praised by Franchomme’s friends Mendelssohn and Chopin, who both performed piano concertos with the group. I’ve recently discovered what must be the definitive book about this orchesta’s history, The Société des Concerts du Conservatoire: 1828-1967, written by Professor D. Kern Holoman. On his book’s accompanying website, Prof. Holoman lists this program for their concert given on Sunday, March 29, 1829:

1. Ouverture d’Oberon, de Weber.

2. Air tiré de l’Hymne de la nuit, de M. Lamartine, musique de M. Neukomm, chanté par M. Wartel.

3. Solo de cor, par M. Mengal.

4. Symphonie en la de Beethoven (redemandée).

5. Chœur de Weber.

6. Solo de violoncelle, par M. Franchomme.

7. Alleluia, grand chœur du Messie de Haendel.

Although Franchomme had been a founding member of the orchestra, this was his first appearance at one of their concerts as a soloist; in fact, it seems to have been the Parisian solo debut of the young Auguste Franchomme.  He was most likely performing one of his own Caprices which he would publish around 1835 as his Op. 7 (these Caprices were written with an optional 2nd cello part, and our album will include two of them in their duo version). This is what critic François-Joseph Fétis wrote in La Revue Musicale a few days after the concert:

Un jeune homme, un enfant, M. Franchomme, est venu, ignore, jouer sans pretention un solo de violoncelle, de manière à se mettre tout à coup sur la ligne des plus grands artistes. Il a dit un thême, sans aucun ornement, et toute l’assemblée fut transportée de plaisir…Trois, quatre, cinq salves d’applaudissemens ont à peine suffi pour exprimer le plaisir qu’avait éprouvé l’assemblée.

(A young man, a child, M. Franchomme, has come, unknown, and played without pretention a cello solo, in a manner that suddenly places him in the lineage of the greatest artists. He stated a theme, without any ornament, and the audience was transported…the, four, five rounds of applause were barely enough for the audience to express their pleasure).

I’ve also written something for the AMS blog, Musicology Now, which is now up (and includes some videos!):