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The joy of Franck’s Symphony in D Minor: BBCSO/Gabel, at the Proms, reviewed

In the Rodgers and Hart musical On Your Toes, a Broadway hoofer is forced to work at a community college, teaching classical music like some kind of square. He picks out a melody on the piano: ‘Whom was this written by?’ ‘By Caesar Frank!’ chorus the students. ‘Pronounce it Fronk,’ he corrects them; and the audience, presumably, laughed in recognition. This was 1936, and César Franck’s Symphony in D minor was a hugely popular concert hall warhorse. Now: not so much. According to the stats in the programme book for this BBC Prom, it was performed 36 times in 50 years at the Proms, before falling off a cliff in