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Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Romantic Era > Symphonic Poem, "Le Chasseur maudit" - Franck


Symphonic Poem, "Le Chasseur maudit"

César Franck
(1822-90)



The symphonic poem, "Le Chasseur Maudit," was written in 1883 and first performed in the following year. It is based upon the familiar ballad of Bürger’s, "Der wilde Jäger" ("The Wild Huntsman"), and is divided into four sections, for which the composer has provided a program. In the first movement, amid the pealing of bells, the shouts of the crowd, and the intoning of a chant, the hunting horn of the Count of the Rhine is heard as the huntsmen prepare for the chase. In the second movement the chase is in full progress over the fields and moors. A voice bids the Count listen to the pious chant, but he refuses and urges his horse forward. In the third movement he is found alone; his horse cannot move, nor will his horn utter a sound. A strong piercing theme gives out the curse, "Desecrator, be forever driven by the Evil One." In the last movement flames shoot up and the Count flies, forever pursued by demons.





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