Little is known about Melchior Franck's living conditions. No picture or bequest has survived, and only a single manuscript has come down to us. He attended grammar school in Augsburg, was a pupil of Hans Leo Haßler and went with him to Nuremberg. There he worked for a year as a school assistant at St. Egidien in 1602. Even if you don't know anything about his training, he may have been a student of Christoph Demantius , as his works show a thorough knowledge of the “Dutch style” of the lasso school. Unlike some of his contemporaries, such as Heinrich Schütz , Franck did not have the opportunity to go on a study trip to Italy. Melchior Franck probably got to know the then new Italian style, the seconda pratica , through Hans Leo Haßler . In 1603, Melchior Franck took the position of court conductor with Duke Johann Casimir in Coburg, which he held for life.
After many strokes of fate, such as the death of his children and his wife, the hardship of the Thirty Years War and the death of Duke Johann Casimir, Franck died in poverty in 1639.
Melchior Franck is at the turn of the late Renaissance (represented for example by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina , Thomas Tallis and Orlando di Lasso) to the early Baroque. It belongs to the stylistic environment of Michael Praetorius , Melchior Vulpius and Leonhard Lechner . Claudio Monteverdi and Heinrich Schütz are among his contemporaries. He created an extensive compositional oeuvre, most of which appeared in print and was tailored to the musical needs of a baroque royal court.
Franck's work includes sacred music in German and Latin, primarily for use in Protestant worship. Numerous motets , psalm settings and other church music have been preserved. Well known are, for example, the four-part Gemmulae Evangeliorum (also published as German Gospel Sayings for the church year ) from 1623, some chorales (in the Evangelical Hymnal you can find the melodies of Gen Himmel ascended [EG 119] and Jerusalem, you high-rise city [EG 150]) as well as the canon (originally a guest book entry).
Franck also composed secular vocal music. His numerous secular songbooks also have literary importance with regard to the texts ( mountain series , Reuterliedlein, Quodlibets, love and other folk songs or chants based on Italian models). He also created instrumental music, such as dance movements. The folk song "Ach Tannenbaum", an original version of the love song O Tannenbaum, which was later rewritten as the popular Christmas song O Tannenbaum , is attributed to him.
A hundred years after his death, Franck was forgotten. His work was not rediscovered until the late 19th and 20th centuries. As before, large parts of his work are only known to specialists.
The Melchior-Franck-Kreis Coburg has made special contributions to the maintenance of the Franck heritage . Ensembles for early music regularly perform Franck's music, for example the Ensemble Alte Musik Dresden or Cantus Thuringia & Capella .
- Markus Rathey: Franck, Melchior. In: MGG Online (subscription required).
- Clarence Theodore Aufdemberge: Complete catalog of works by Melchior Franck . In: Yearbook of the Coburg State Foundation , 1975
- Knut Gramß: Sheet music by Melchior Franck and their locations . In: Stefan Nöth (Ed.): Coburg 1056-2006; a journey through 950 years of city and country history . Wikomm-Verlag, Stegaurach, 2006, ISBN 3-86652-082-4
- Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz : Franck, Melchior. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 2, Bautz, Hamm 1990, ISBN 3-88309-032-8 , Sp. 79-80.
- Moritz Fürstenau : Franck, Melchior . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 7, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1877, p. 213.
- Kurt Gudewill : In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 5, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1961, ISBN 3-428-00186-9 , p. 319 f. ( ).
- Melchior Franck: Three Quodlibets . In: Kurt Gudewill, Friedrich Blume (Ed.): Das Chorwerk , Heft 53
- Aloys Obrist: Melchior Franck. A contribution to the history of secular composition in Germany in the period before the 30 Years War . A. Haack, Berlin 1892 (= Diss. University of Berlin 1892). ViFaMusik
- Franck, 2) Melchior . In: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon . 4th edition. Volume 6, Verlag des Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1885–1892, pp. 484–485.
- Works by and about Melchior Franck in the catalog of the German National Library
- Sheet music and audio files by Melchior Franck in the International Music Score Library Project
- Sheet music in the public domain by Melchior Franck in the Choral Public Domain Library - ChoralWiki (English)
- Entry on Melchior Franck on melchior-franck-kreis.de
- Title by Bach Cantatas (English)
- Works by Melchior Franck on arkivmusic.com
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German composer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||around 1579|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Zittau (uncertain: anger )|
|DATE OF DEATH||June 1, 1639|
|Place of death||Coburg|