Henri Gagnebin 1886- HENRI GAGNEBIN was born of
Swiss parents at Liège, Belgium, on March 13, 1886. His classical studies
were pursued at Lausanne, but his musical education was much more cosmopolitan. After acquiring the first rudiments of his art at Lausanne, Gagnebin
continued in Berlin and Geneva, finally
arriving in Paris where he concluded
his studies at the Schola Cantorum
under Vincent D'Indy, who gave direction to his talent and helped him mature
more rapidly.Upon graduating from the Schola
Cantorum, Gagnebin officiated, from 1910 to 1916, as organist at the Eglise
de la Rédemption, in Paris. The ensuing nine years found him holding a
similar post at the Eglise St. Jean, in Lausanne.Pedagogy soon appealed more strongly
to him than the playing of the organ
and from 1925, Gagnebin served as professor of history of music at the Conservatory of Lausanne, and professor of
organ and history at the Conservatory
of Neuchâtel. At the present time, he
officiates as director of the Conservatory
at Geneva.Altho Gagnebin has composed for
orchestra, chorus and solo voices, his
outstanding strength lies in the field of
chamber music, in which he has made
distinct contributions. In 1919, his first String Quartet was given performance,
and at that time, Gustave Doret wrote:
"Those who know this young artist,
so much a master of his métier, so concentrated with his ardent enthusiasm . . .
will know that the day will come when,
suddenly, by the force of his talent,
he will be able to capture the place
which is due him. . . . The artist and
the man revealed themselves in this very
noble work, in the admirable liberty
and yet constraint of his writing, in the
profound emotion of the 'Andante' of avery refined spirit, in the well-balanced
sonority, in the ever clear and never
banal thoughts. . . ."Since that auspicious introduction, Gagnebin has composed several string
quartets endowed with many admirable
qualities. The Third Quartet, as Otto
Wend tells us, is of a "thought which is
mature and profound." Concerning the
general characteristics of Gagnebin's
chamber music style, Frederick Hay
wrote that they "are to be found rather
in the intellectual development of his
musical themes than in inventive ability
and imagination. The result is that
many pages of Gagnebin's work . . . seem
rather academic and lacking in feeling . . .
His style is classical and free from all
romantic elements . . . and shows great
polyphonic skill and interesting rhythms,
and is also marked by great depth of
expression."Principal works by Henri Gagnebin:
About Henri Gagnebin:
|ORCHESTRA: Symphony in F; Ouverture
Française; Ouverture de Fête; Les Vierges
Folles; Second Symphony.|
|CHORAL: St. Francis d'Assise; Cinq Noëls; Le Bonheur; La Maison du Matin.|
|CHAMBER MUSIC: First Quartet; Pastorale; Sonata for Violoncello and Piano; Second
Quartet; Third Quartet, etc.|
| Cobbett W. W. Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music.|
| Tribune de Genèe March 26, 1934.|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Composers of Today:A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations.
Contributors: David Ewen - Editor, David Ewen - Compiler.
Publisher: H. W. Wilson.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1934.
Page number: 79.
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