Arthur Honegger, one of D'Indy's
pupils, gives as an interesting appraisal
of the teacher: "D'Indy not only taught
his pupils the art of conducting, but was
always ready to criticize their compositions. He did so, very kindly, but with
a firmness which asserted itself in
proportion as the pupil would try to
argue. He liked them to write orchestral
works and then conduct them in class.
He would criticize the scoring, and explain why the tyro composers sometimes
failed to fulfill their intentions. Two
years of this training taught me more
than all the books of orchestration could
teach. D'Indy never tried to counteract
the tendencies of any pupil whose purpose was definite and genuine, however
different from his own these might be." Vincent D'Indy first came into glaring
prominence as a composer with his
opera, Fervaal. "I have too often exposed my ideas on the rôle that music
should play in the music-drama," wrote Paul Dukas upon first coming into contact with the score of Fervaol, "not to
seize this opportunity, which has just
been offered me, to restate with what
power of expression, with what pride
and significance it can perform this rôle,
when it is its principal generator, when
it is penetrated with a true poetry thoroly
musical. Fervaal is--I am not afraid to
say it--the only work written since Parsifal, in which this element holds
such a place and produces such a result."However, it is not for his operas that Vincent D'Indy has attained first importance, but rather for his symphonic
music--particularly for such compositions as A Summer Day on the Mountain
("its composer's masterpiece in the realm
of program music," comments Daniel Gregory Mason); Symphony on a
French Mountain Theme, and the Istar
Variations."Clearness!"--I am quoting Romain
Rolland--"it is the mark of D'Indy's
intelligence. There are no shadows in
him. His thought and his art are as
clear as his look. . . . There are in his
music the qualities of a general: the
knowledge of the end, the patient will to
attain it, the perfect acquaintance with
the means, the spirit of order, and the
mastery over his work and over himself.Despite the variety of the material he
employs, the whole is always clear." Vincent D'Indy was a man of the
utmost simplicity. Blessed with a
sensitively warm heart, he had the
faculty of making friends with everyone who came into--contact with him.
Like Beethoven--whom he admired
more than any other composer--he was
a profound lover of nature, and all of
his holidays were spent in the country,
out-of-doors. He had a favorite epigram
which he always quoted to his pupils:
"Only the heart," he would say again
and again, "can engender beauty." And
he practised what he preached, for the
beauty of his music seems to flow directly from a palpitantly warm and sensitive heart.Principal works by Vincent D'Indy:
|ORCHESTRA: Jean Hunyade; La Forêt
Enchantée; Symphony on a French Mountain Theme; Fantasy; Istar Variations;
Second Symphony; A Summer Day on the
Mountain; Third Symphony.|
|OPERA: Le Chante de la Cloche; Fervaal;
|CHAMBER MUSIC: String quartets; Trio;
Trumpet Suite; Sonata for Violin and Piano; Quintet.|
|Songs, choruses, piano-pieces, incidental
About Vincent D'Indy:
Aubry Georges Jean-. La Musique Française d'Aujourd'hui; Coeuroy André. La
Musique Franfaise Moderne; Gray Cecil. Studies in Music;
Poueigh Jean. Musiciens
Français d'Aujourd'hui; Rolland Romain. Musicians of Today;
Tiersot Julien. Une
Demie Siècle de la Musique Française.
Important recordings of music by Vincent D'Indy:
POLYDOR: Symphony on a French Mountain Theme (Wolff).
Michael Ippolitov-Ivanov 1859-
MICHAEL MICHAELOVICH IPPOLITOV-IVANOV, known principally because of his world-famous Caucasian Sketches, was born at Gatchina, on November 19, 1859. His
father was a mechanic employed in the
palace, who had little sympathy with
the musical aspirations which young
Michael had from childhood. At the
age of eight, Michael already immersed
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: 125.
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