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An example of simple structure using finely honed melodies, Pièce héroïque by César Franck opens with a bold melody mostly in the left hand and then contrasts this with a section in the middle resembling a church chorale. Although the opening section predictably returns without remarkable embellishment, the piece ends with a grandiose repetition of the chorale, played loudly as a stirring hymn.

— Gregg Wager is a composer and critic. He is author of Symbolism as a Compositional Method in the Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen. He has a PhD in musicology from the Free University Berlin and a JD from McGeorge School of Law.