(b Marseilles, 9 Aug 1902; d La Ciotat, 17 Sept 1991). French violinist. He was taught by his parents, both professional violinists (his father’s teacher, Camillo Sivori, was a protégé of Paganini), and made his début in Marseilles in 1918. In 1924 he went to Paris and, after concert appearances there, made the acquaintance of Ravel, with whom he formed a duo and toured Britain in 1926. He taught at the Ecole Normale de Musique from 1927 to 1929 and steadily developed a solo career in Europe and the USA. In 1939 he settled in New York, though after the war he continued to teach in France and he retired there in 1976. He established a violin competition in Aix-en-Provence in 1987, funded in part by the sale (to Salvatore Accardo) of his 1727 ‘Hart’ Stradivari.
Francescatti’s repertory extended beyond the conventional to include music by Bernstein, Milhaud, Respighi and Szymanowski, whose work he vigorously championed; he also maintained throughout his career a fondness for the music of Paganini, whose First Concerto he had played at his débuts in Paris (1925) and New York (1939). In Classical concertos his performances were characterized by a relaxed, lyrical manner and a romantic eloquence of feeling. He played with exceptional sweetness of tone, and often sustained a warmth of legato phrasing that he could nevertheless be reluctant to abandon when the music demanded more incisive attack. Later in his career he occasionally toured with Robert Casadesus, with whom he gave outstanding performances of sonatas by Debussy, Franck and Fauré. His many recordings include concertos by Beethoven (with Bruno Walter), Bruch and Sibelius (with Bernstein) and Walton (with Ormandy). He made a few transcriptions and composed a small number of pieces, mainly for the violin.
J.Creighton: Discopaedia of the Violin, 1889–1971 (Toronto, 1974)
A.Inglis: Obituary, The Independent (21 Sept 1991)
Franceschi [de’ Franceschi].
Italian family of printers. The best known is Francesco Franceschi (d in or before 1599). He signed his volumes ‘Francesco dei Franceschi Senese’, which implies that he came from Siena. Between 1562 and 1599 he printed a great many volumes at Venice, including the works of Zarlino. His only other musical titles were also theoretical – the writings of Maurolyco and of Aurelio Paolini. His music printing is as elegant as any of the period, and he used his own fount of type. Giovanni Antonio de’ Franceschi was probably his relative (there were several other contemporary printers with this name, but they did not print music); he worked at Palermo from 1592 to 1599, and produced four titles: a reprint of Arcadelt’s works, the first volume of Antonio Il Verso and two volumes of music by Raval. He printed another edition of Zarlino’s works in Venice with Giacomo Franceschi in 1602. Another Franceschi printed a single musical treatise at Verona in 1615.
(b Bologna, 9 Jan 1651; d Venice, 4 Dec 1680). Italian composer and cellist. He was a brother of the painter M.A. Franceschini. He studied with Lorenzo Perti in Bologna and with Giuseppe Corsi in Narni. One of the first members of the Bolognese Accademia Filarmonica, he served as its principe in 1673. From 6 March 1675 until October 1680 he was a cellist at S Petronio, Bologna; his name appears among the additional musicians for the St Petronius feast on 4 October from as early as 1666. Already known for his operas, he was called to Venice by Vincenzo Grimani to compose a work for the Teatro di SS Giovanni e Paolo but died soon after having completed the first act. He was buried in the church of SS Giovanni e Paolo, with funeral music directed by Legrenzi; memorial services were also held at the Arciconfraternita di S Maria della Morte, Bologna, where in 1679–80 he was maestro di cappella, and at Genoa. G.A. Perti and Domenico Gabrielli were among his pupils. Primarily a composer of sacred music, Franceschini was, after G.P. Colonna, the most productive composer at S Petronio in the last quarter of the 17th century. His psalms, Magnificat settings and masses are written in the rich Bolognese contrapuntal style, well suited to the reverberant acoustics of the basilica. His operas have great rhythmic energy and make much use of the trumpet in dialogue with the voice. Two sonatas, one with trumpets, are cast in the four-movement pattern common in the late 17th century.
Le gare di Sdegno, d’Amore e di Gelosia (F.M. Bordocchi), prol and 2 intermedi for Caligula delirante, Bologna, Formagliari, 1674, music lost
L’Oronte di Menfi (T. Stanzani), Bologna, Formagliari, lib ded. 10 Jan 1676, I-Vnm
C.Ivanovich: Minerva al tavolino (Venice, 1681, 2/1688)
A.Schnoebelen: ‘Performance Practices at San Petronio in the Baroque’, AcM, xli (1969), 37–55, esp. 46–7
O.Gambassi: La cappella musicale di S. Petronio: maestri, organisti, cantori e strumentisti dal 1436 al 1920 (Florence, 1987), 144–6, 328, 478
J.Riepe: Die Arciconfraternità di S. Maria della Morte in Bologna: Beiträge zur Geschichte des italienisches Oratoriums im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert (diss., U. of Bonn, 1993)
M.Vanscheeuwijck: ‘La cappella musicale di San Petronio ai tempi di Giovanni Paolo Colonna (1674–1695): organizzazione esemplare di una istituzione musicale’, La cappella musicale nell’Italia della Controriforma, ed. O. Mischiati and P. Russo (Cento, 1993), 303–24
C.Vitali: ‘Un cantante legrenziano e la sua biografia: Francesco De Castris, “musico politico”’, Giovanni Legrenzi e la Cappella Ducale di San Marco, ed. F. Passadore and F. Rossi (Florence, 1994), 567–603
M.Vanscheeuwijck: De religieuze muziekproduktie in de San Petronio-kerk te Bologna ten tijde van Giovanni Paolo Colonna (1674–1675) (diss., U. of Ghent, 1995)