Faà di Bruno, Giovanni Matteo [Horatio, Orazio] 83

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Frank Music Corp.

American music publishing firm. It was founded in New York in 1949 by the composer and lyricist Frank Loesser and specializes in the publication of musical plays and popular songs; some rock and folk material was added to the catalogue in the early 1970s. In the past the firm also published choral, band, orchestral, solo, ensemble and piano music, as well as textbooks and methods; most are no longer in print since, in common with most music publishers, Frank’s recent activities have focussed as much on the licensing of music for media use as on the production of sheet music and folios. Catalogues acquired by the firm include those of Carmichael Music Publications, Empress Music Inc. and the Walter Reade Music Corp.

Since January 1979 Frank Music Corp. has been one of several affiliated music publishing companies owned by MPL Communications, Inc., New York. New songs are no longer added to the firm’s catalogue and so its character has changed little since the late 1970s. A former division of Frank Music Corp., Music Theatre International is among the world’s largest and most active leasing agents for musical plays.


Franko, Sam

(b New Orleans, 20 Jan 1857; d New York, 6 May 1937). American violinist and conductor. In 1862 his family fled from the Civil War to Germany and Franko began violin lessons in Breslau; he later studied in Berlin (with Joachim among others) and Paris (with Hubert Léonard and Vieuxtemps). In 1880 he was in New York, where he played in orchestras under Theodore Thomas and Walter Damrosch, and in 1881 founded the New York String Quartet. Between 1883 and 1885 he toured as first violinist with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club and played with the Boston SO; he then played viola in the New York Philharmonic Society (1891–7).

Franko began his conducting career in 1891. In 1894 he founded the American SO, with the aim of demonstrating that non-Europeans could be good musicians. Between 1900 and 1909 he conducted ‘Orchestral Concerts of Old Music’ in New York, performing his own editions of Baroque works. He took the concerts to Germany with the Berlin Blüthner orchestra from 1910 to 1914, and while he was there taught at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. On his return to the USA in 1915, he taught the violin, was leader for the touring Ballets Russes and briefly resumed the ‘Old Music’ concerts (1916–17). He donated his music collection and scrapbooks to the New York Public Library. Besides making numerous arrangements of orchestral works, he composed works for piano and for violin and piano.


Obituaries: New York Times (7 May 1937; 23 May 1937)

S. Franko: Chords and Dischords (New York, 1938) [memoirs]


Franquin, Merri(-Jean-Baptiste)

(b Lançon, Bouches-du-Rhône, 19 Oct 1848; d ?Paris, 1934). French trumpeter and teacher. He studied the cornet at the Paris Conservatoire with Arban and Maury, winning a premier prix in 1877. From 1894 to 1925 he was professor of trumpet at the Conservatoire; during his tenure and against fierce initial resistance he introduced the C trumpet in place of the low F trumpet and also persuaded composers to write for this instrument. After experiments with Millereau in 1888, he developed with Thibouville-Lamy in 1912 a trumpet in C with a whole-tone ascending fourth valve, activated by the left index finger. It was adopted by some players, notably Roger Voisin of the Boston SO. This was followed in 1916 by a five-valve one, the fifth valve, activated by the left thumb, lowering by a major or minor 3rd.

Franquin’s comprehensive Méthode complète de trompette moderne, de cornet à pistons et de bugle (Paris, c1910) is valuable because unlike preceding methods by Arban, Petit and others, which were for cornet, it is a true trumpet method, placing great emphasis on tone production. Franquin also wrote ‘La trompette et le cornet’ (printed in EMDC, II/iii, 1927, pp.1597–648).


C. Pierre: Le Conservatoire national de musique et de déclamation (Paris, 1900), 444

R. Brancour and others: Le cornet (Paris, c1911)


Franssens, Joep

(b Groningen, 1955). Dutch composer. He studied piano in Groningen, and composition in the Hague and Rotterdam with Louis Andriessen and Klaas de Vries respectively. He is representative of the post-serial generation of Dutch composers who use tonal means and an accessible idiom without neo-Romantic features, even if the pathos-laden, highly emotional nature of his music appears to contradict this endeavour. In his works, which consist of chamber music and choral and orchestral works, Franssens aims at a synthesis of monumentality and euphony and is initially guided by J.S. Bach and the Ligeti of Lontano and Atmosphères. Later a trend towards radical austerity becomes apparent under the influence of American minimalist music, East European mysticism (e.g. Pärt) and the symphonic pop music of the 1970s, culminating in the static diatonicism of the ensemble work Dwaallicht (1989) and the serene counterpoint of Sanctus for orchestra (1996, rev. 1999). The instrumentation increasingly shows a preference for warm, luxuriant colours.


(selective list)

Solo, fl, 1980; Ellipsis, clvd, 1982; Consort music, ens, 1984, rev. 1987; Echo's, orch, 1984, rev. 1994; Phasing (F. Pessoa), female vv, orch, 1985; Old Songs, New Songs, 2 pf, 1988; Dwaallicht [Will-o'-the-Wisp] (B. Spinoza), 2 S, ens, 1989; Taking the Waters, S, orch, 1990; The Straight Line, sax qt, 1992; The Gift of Song, 2 pf, 1994; Harmony of the Spheres (Spinoza), vv, 1994; A New Departure, vc, pf, 1995; Sanctus, orch, 1996, rev. 1999; Roaring Rotterdam, orch, 1997; Magnificat, S, vn, chorus, orch, 1999

Principal publisher: Donemus


B. van Putten: ‘Pop en Bach: componist Joep Franssens zoekt de menselijke maat’, Vrij Nederland (10 Jan 1998)


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