FRANCK, Melchior. b. Zittau, ca. 1579?; d. Coburg, 1 June 1639. Little is known of his early life, but he was a chorister at St Anna’s Church, Augsburg. He was a pupil of Hans Leo Hassler*, moving with him to Nürnberg in 1601, where Franck published his chorale collection, Contrapuncti Compositi deutscher Psalmen und anderer geistlichen Kirchengesänge (1602). He was appointed Kapellmeister to Duke Johann Casimir of Saxe-Coburg, who encouraged his work until the Duke’s death in 1633; his successor, Johann Ernst was not so interested in music, and gave Franck less support. Franck retired, but stayed in Coburg until his death.
Franck’s music revived some of the Catholic polyphony that had been...
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