Composers of Today: A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
"no one since Schubert has written for the voice with greater felicitousness." " Dupin," stated Charles Koechlin in a glowing tribute, "deserves one of the most imposing positions among his fellow-composers in the world of true music.""Where among modern composers," asked Etienne Royer, "can you find moments of such intense and profound emotion as in Paul Dupin?" Romain Rolland, too, enlisted an enthusiastic pen to fight for Dupin's cause. But, altho the battle has been waging for a full decade, Paul Dupin suffers today the same obscurity that has been his fate thruout his entire career. The leading critics and the foremost musicians of France honor him, and accept his music as an important artistic expression. But to the music world at large, his name persists in darkness.All of Paul Dupin's music has the quality of having existed a long time. His cool counterpoint and his ever-fresh melodies are certainly not of our time, but seem to stem from out of a far- distant past. "Because of his convincing fervor," writes André Coeuroy, "because of his freshness and his obstinate devotion to his musical task, Dupin belongs to a past which is almost mediaeval." It is, therefore, not surprising that Dupin is at his best--not in his operas or symphonic music--but in his choral canons, of which he has composed more than a hundred, and of which Etienne Royer has said: "They are the creations of one of the most original of contemporary geniuses." Paul Dupin lives in a dark and sombre apartment on Rue de L'Annonciation in Paris. Neglect has not discouraged him, and his pen is as fecund today as it was a decade ago. His interests--he laments --are necessarily restricted by his threadbare poverty; he can seek amusement, therefore, only by reading--generally books of history and geography. In spirit, as in his music, he is essentially not of our times; current trends, whether in music or in politics, interest him but little. He confesses to living entirely in the past which is probably the best of all possible escapes for an artist whom a present world refuses to accept or to recognize.Principal works by Paul Dupin:
OPERA: Marcelle.
ORCHESTRA: Symphonie Populaire; Beau Jardin; suites.
CHORAL: Canons; Les Suppliantes.
CHAMBER MUSIC: Sonatas, trios, quartets, etc.
Pieces for piano; songs, etc.

About Paul Dupin:

Coeuroy André. Musique Française Moderne.

Courrier Musicale 12:151 1909; Revue Musicale 4:227January 1923.


Sir Edward Elgar 1857-1934

" Elgar holds the same position in English music as Beethoven in German music."-- BERNARD SHAW

SIR EDWARD WILLIAM ELGAR-- for more than three decades the dean of modern English composers--was born at Broadheath, near Worcester, on June 2, 1857. As a child, he manifested a deep love for all things artistic: he read prolifically, he absorbed himself with music, and he was even strongly moved by the mediaeval carvings in the Worcester Cathedral. At an early age, he was sent to a "ladies' school" where he took his first lessons on the piano. It was at the insistence of his parents that, in his fifteenth year, he gave up all thought of music as a vocation, and entered a solicitor's office. Music, however, would not leave him, and its influence clung so tenaciously that, by the time he reached his twentieth birthday, he knew definitely that music, and music alone, would be his life work. For a while, he visited London, studying the violin under Pollitzer. Then, in 1879, he actively engaged in musical activity by becoming a member of the Stockley Orchestra of Birmingham, and the bandmaster of the County Lunatic Asylum Band.

In 1892, he visited Leipzig where he continued his musical studies with greater seriousness and devotion. Three years later, he succeeded his father as organist of St. George, Worcester, a position which he held for eight years, resigning ultimately only because he wished to devote all of his time to musical creation. He was married in 1889 to Caroline Alice Roberts, a lady of

____________________
Elgar: ěl′gär

-68-

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