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Louis Charles Bonaventura Alfred Bruneau
1857 - 1934
France
Picture
L.C.B.A. Bruneau
Alfred Bruneau (03/03/1857 - 15/06/1934), a French composer. He was born in Paris. His parents were devoted to music, and he was brought up to play the cello, being educated at the Paris Conservatoire. He played in Pasdeloups orchestra, and soon began to compose, writing a cantata, Genevieve de Paris, at an early age. In 1884 his Ouverture héroïque was performed, followed by the choral symphonies, Lida (1884), La Belle au bois dormant (1886) and Pentlzsile. But he is best known as a dramatic composer. In. 1887 his first opera, Krim, was produced; and in 1891 his successful opera Le Rêve, with a libretto founded on Zola's story. Another subject from Zola resulted in the opera L'Attaque du moulin (1893), and libretti by Zola himself were written for his next operas Messidor (1897) and L'Ouragan (1901). Among Bruneaus other works may be mentioned his Requiem (1896), and his two collections of songs, Lieds de France and Chansons a danser. He was decorated with the Legion of Honor in 1895. His musical criticisms, published in several volumes, are remarkable for literary quality and vigour.
Requiem
Period:Romanticism
Composed in:1886
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Duration:ca.38'
Label(s):BMG 74321 75087 2
Alfred Bruneau said about his Requiem: "When composing this work I chose as the theatre for my reflections that long narrow gallery in the Louvre, hung with so many splendidly harrowing and symbolic paintings. There, the angels with their puffed-up cheeks, trumpeting out celestial appeals from these religious painting, gave mde the idea of writing a 'Tuba Mirum' based, not on a series of rapid brass tones, but rather on a succession of long equal notes: it was in this way that I decided that I could, after so many musicians, use the true liturgical theme of the 'Dies Irae', with two groups of trumpets, placed one to the right hand one to the left of the audience, each playing, one after the other, one only of the long equal notes. Having then harmonised this theme into a major mode, I thought that when delivered by the children, the harps and the invisible organ, it would descend upon the chanting crowd, paralysing with fear and despair, as the eternal forgiveness which we all must crave for our eternal faults. And it is this theme of forgiveness, of renewal of intense well-being in a live of work, from the first chords with their strongly marked contrasts of light and shade, to the final bars without words float soothed by the final bars where voices without words float soothed by the blissful promise of salvation, and vanish, murmuring into the air."
Source:booklet of the cd: Requiem / Lazare Alfred Bruneau (BMG/RCA)
French contributions to the genre of requiems from the later part of the 19th century include settings by L.T. Gouvy (1874) and Alfred Bruneau (composed: 1886, first performance:1896), both large-scale and technically accomplished, but insufficiently characterful to have survived in the repertory. In Bruneau's work, trumpets situated on either side of the auditorium present the 'Dies irae' plainchant in alternate notes, as a curious type of instrumental hocket.
Author:Steven Chang-Lin Yu