- Piano Quartet in A major, Op. 33
- Piano Quartet in E major, Op. 41 "Quartet in einem Satz"
- Fantasies (3), Op. 28
Not to be confused with the more commonly known family of French composer César Franck, German composer Richard Franck is a relatively unknown entity in the modern canon. This album introduces three of his many chamber works: two piano quartets (Op. 33 & Op. 41) and a set of "Three Fantasies, Op. 28 for solo piano." Hearing this works, it's curious why they have not been revitalized earlier. Although Franck lived well into the twentieth century, his works are firmly grounded in the late-Romantic. Influences of composers ranging from Mendelssohn and Brahms to Chopin and Liszt can be heard permeating these quartets. Adding to the strength of the compositions themselves are energetic, thoughtful, and well-executed performances by Schickedanz, Nichiteanu, Beyer-Karlshoj, and Fograscher. It's not easy to pull off works with which listeners are unfamiliar, to say nothing of introducing a composer who himself is widely unknown, but this ensemble makes us believe that these quartets are popping up on stages all the time. Their technical and musical proficiency is captured nicely on Audite's clean and spacious multi-channel SACD sound. Chamber music aficionados owe it to themselves to add this album to their collections and chamber musicians will welcome this opportunity to expand their repertoire.