Classic Cocktails and Classical Music: Cesar Franck

I have a corner in my home office where I store "joyless" LPs. These are recordings that have come into my possession in a variety of ways, but didn't give me joy upon a first listen. That is my new standard for determining if I keep something: Does it give me joy? If it doesn't, it's gone. These records wait here in limbo until I gather the courage, or have the house to myself to listen to questionable music. One of these records is a Philip Glass (for which I know not if I will ever have the courage to play a second time). When I brought it home, I proclaimed that I had turned over a new leaf and would give Mr. Glass one last try. Tamara said, "Oh, no. Don't play that thing while I'm around. I can't stand Glass." Other humdingers include: Glinka, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Duane Eddy with Silky Strings. (If you only have time to follow only one of those links, click on Humperdinck... Yowza! Check that helmet hair and the Dean Martin intro is pretty funny.)

portrait of Cesar Franck by David Borden, (c) 2015
Cesar Franck (1822-1890)
A Cesar Franck LP came to me as a gift recently, so I pulled the other Franck LPs out of the "joyless" corner. I decided to give them one more chance. I was heartened to see that Frank was an aficionado of  manly mutton chops... a very good sign that a joyful experience awaited.

Nevertheless, I played a scratchy record of sonatas and proceeded to multi-task my morning, only lending a casual ear to the music. After a few minutes I found myself standing at the turntable reading the back cover of the cardboard LP jacket. (link to Frank's Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Maj). If you give it a listen, you will see how it drew my in.

Ah, joyful.

 After the record finished, I slid my three Franck LPs into the shelf next to Sibelius and Grieg. Nice work for a fellow who didn't hit his stride until late in life. He only published one symphony, one quartet, one violin and piano sonata, and one quintet.

Franck's life ended with an unfortunate mishap. Apparently, he was daydreaming, perhaps of writing a second symphony, a second sonata, or a second quartet or quintet, when he was struck by a bus in 1890.
drawing of Cesar Franck stepping in front of a bus while thinking of writing a second piece of music.
"Eureka! It will be a masterpiece, my second--"

I celebrated my rediscovery of Franck with a cocktail.

My Recipe for a 7th Heaven:

2 oz. Gin
.5 oz. Cherry liquor
.5 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Shake the ingredients with cracked ice. Strain and pour into a martini glasses. Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.


#Franck #bus #cocktailrecipe #cocktail #gin #cherryliquor #grapefruit #EngelbertHumperdinck


  1. What? The violinist doesn't merit her own page turner??


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