Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Franck - Le Chasseur Maudit (The Accursed Hunter)

Cesar Franck (1822 - 1890) wrote this brilliantly orchestrated tone poem in 1882.  The title is taken from a poem written by the German poet Gottfried August Bürger that was titled Der Wilde Jäger. The tone poem, while written in one continuous movement, is in four distinct sections:
  • Sunday Morning Call To Worship
  • The Hunt
  • The Curse
  • The Demon's Chase
The story synopsis:

The church bells call the faithful to worship on a bright and sunny Sunday morning, but an arrogant German count decided he will go hunting instead. He ignored the church bells and the chants, mounted his horse as he blew his hunting horn to begin the hunt, and whipped the peasants that got in his way.  After he got into the woods and hunted for a while, he realized he was lost.  A mysterious voice speaks to him and tells him that he is cursed to be chased forever by demons in the forest for his blasphemy.  Through night and day the wild ride goes on, and doesn't stop when the hunter and his horse fall into the abyss. They are lifted airborne with the demons still hot in their pursuit. 

Franck's Le Chasseur Maudit (The Accursed Hunter):

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