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César Franck bicentennial concert at Bethany UMC

Bethany United Methodist Church, 1860 Hayes Road, Gloucester Point, will present a concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11, celebrating the 200th birthday of French composer and organist César Franck.

Dr. Rudy Shackelford will perform six works in the “symphonic” style, which revolutionized organ music in the late 19th century. Opening with “Pièce Héroique,” a hymn of spiritual triumph, the program includes the gentle “Pastorale for Christmas,” “Prelude, Fugue and Variation” in Franck’s seldom-heard transcription for organ/piano duet, and “Three Chorals,” the last great testament of a composer who has been called “the French Bach,” a release stated.

The music of Franck is actually a synthesis of Bach’s masterful counterpoint and Beethoven’s architectural grandeur, the release said. His monumental “Symphony in D Minor” sprang from a tiny motif in the finale of “String Quartet No. 16, Opus 135,” Beethoven’s last composition. Shackelford has transcribed the piece for organ/piano duet,...

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