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About this Piece

César Franck (1822–1890) composed his orchestral masterpiece, the Symphony in D minor, in 1888, only two years before his death. In it, he employs cyclic form—a favorite device of 19th-century symphonic composers that presents motives in the first movement which are then transformed and re-purposed in later movements. The melody heard at the beginning of the Intermezzo, after a brief pizzicato introduction, not only is derived from the main melody of the symphony’s first movement but bears a striking resemblance in contour to the B–A–C–H motive which serves as the basis for Reger’s Fantasy and Fugue—Thomas Neenan