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Joseph-Guy Marie Ropartz
1864 - 1955
France
Picture Picture
J.G. Ropartz
Joseph-Guy Ropartz -also Joseph-Marie Guy-Ropartz (15/06/1864 - 22/11/1955), a French composer, born in Guingamp. He very early developed his artistic gifts in conjunction with his father, a lawyer and man of great culture. After his father's death, his brother Yves encouraged him to write poems and novels – because the young Ropartz first wanted to be writer. But little by little, music became his first preoccupation, and, in 1885, he left for Paris with the secret hope of overcoming his meager preparation for the Conservatoire. He became the pupil of Dubois in harmony and Massenet in composition, preferring nevertheless to the latter (whose teaching could have led him to the Prix de Rome) the emblematic figure of César Franck. The influence of Franck would be predominant in the genesis of such works as the Psalm 136 (1897) or the Four poems after Heine's Intermezzo (1899) and supported the development of his own language.
In 1894, he becames director of the Conservatoire and Concerts Symphoniques of Nancy. A passionate defender of the music of his time and a skilled orchestra director, he improved the quality of the teaching at the Conservatoire and lifted the orchestra to the highest national level. During Ropartz’s tenure at the Conservatoire, his colleague Chausson created there his Poème, and Magnard, his Symphonies. Ropartz also played there his Third symphony with choirs as well as his opera Le Pays (The Country).
A man to take on every challenge, he also took up this one: restructuring the Strasburg Conservatoire after the 1918 victory. This exile of almost thirty years contributed to the nostalgic and dreaming feelings which are characteristic of his style.
When he retires in 1929, returned to his Breton manor in Lanloup and, at last, he could work serenely for himself and enrich a corpus including, inter alia, five symphonies, six string quartets, and more than one hundred of songs.
Guy Ropartz died on November 22nd, 1955, day of Saint Caecilia, patroness of the musicians.
Requiem
Period:Expressionism
Composed in:1938
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Duration:36'57''
Label(s):Accord 205132
Adda 581266
The requiem was composed in 1937-1938 and first performed in Angers on 19 March 1939. At the time, it was inevitably compared to Fauré's Requiem. Indeed, in both works, the Sequence, stripped of its bravura passages (notably, the "Dies Irae", "Tuba Mirum" and "Lacrimosa") is reduced to its conclusion: "Pie Jesu". On the other hand, both requiems and, not with the usual reiteration of the initial "Requiem aeternam" but with an evocation ("In Paridisum") of the souls of the dead entering the heavenly kingdom. But whereas Fauré, who was an agnostic, deludes the listener with what is for him just pure illusion, Ropartz endeavours to render this ascension amidst the angels and martyrs with all the convictions of a believer. taken as a whole Ropartz's Requiem is more austere than that of his elder, but it is far from being less effective; if we had to make a comparison, however, it would have to be with that of Berlioz: for the expressive chromatics (on a background that is on the whole diatonic), the taste for weak harmonic degrees - those modal notes which blur the strict definitions of major and minor - and finally, for the recourse to the pedals which, in assailing the tonality relieves the harmony of its functions for a moment.
Author:Gérard Condé. Translation: Mary Pardoe
The requiem contains:
- Introit
- Kyrie
- Offertoire
- Sanctus
- Pie Jesu
- Agnus Dei
- Libera
- In paradisum
Source:booklet of cd Accord 205132