François Servais enriched the cello repertoire with some hundred compositions. His oeuvre includes:
- four cello concerto’s
- some 20 fantaisies with piano, quartet, quintet or chamber orchestra
- caprices and etudes for two cellos or cello and piano, among them the Six Caprices, opus 11 and the 6 Etudes
- six duos for cello & violin with Joseph Ghys, Henry Vieuxtemps and Hubert Léonard
- 23 duos for cello & piano with Joseph Gregoir
Servais wrote in a romantic virtuoso style, very difficult to play; his compositions form a challenge, even for the most experienced cellist.
Seventy of Servais’ compositions have been published and reprinted. Souvenir de Spa (opus 2) has known at least one hundred editions and arrangements, Six Caprices (opus 11) some forty and the Concerto en si mineur (opus 5) some thirty.
More than seventy publishers have contributed to these editions, eight of which are Russian and twelve American.
Today, several well-known soloists have compositions by Servais in their repertoire. Souvenir de Spa is the most popular, but some twenty other compositions are as well being performed from time to time, all around the world (see Agenda).
The Six Caprices, Servais’ opus 11, still play an important role in cello teaching all over the world. Recent reissues in Paris, Milan, Mainz and New York, – together with some partial reprints – answer that demand.
Some thirty compositions have already been issued on more than sixty records and CDs. Several CDs have been spread worldwide. Many radio stations in Europe and the United States make use of these recordings, so millions of people can hear his music.
François Servais died 150 years ago; nowadays, his music remains lively and exciting.