Composer of D



Arthur De Greef (1862-1940)

Belgian pianist and composer. Born in Leuven (Louvain) on 10th of October 1862. He entered at Brussel Conservatory and studied piano under Louis Brassin, harmony under Joseph Dupont, counterpoint-fugue under Hubert-Fernand Kufferath as well as composition under François Auguste Gevaert, and he obtained the premier prix on piano in 1879 (sharing the prize with I.Albeniz). After the short period of continuous study on piano under Juliusz Zarebski (who succeeded the piano faculty position of Louis Brassin), He followed the advice of Gevaert and went to Germany in the fall of 1881 until the fall of 1883 for studying under Franz Liszt in Weimar. Then he also studied under Saint-Saens in Paris for a while. As a famous concert pianist and acclaimed Grieg-concerto interpreter, he has travelled over Europe (notably in England frequently). In 1885, he succeeded the lectuerer position of Zarebski, and became the professor in 1887. He founded the concert pianist masterclass named 'Cours de perfectionnement' and became the director there in 1920 until 1930. He was elected a member of Royal Amademy of Arts in 1925. He died in Brussel on 29th of August 1940. Although few biographies noted that he once teached in Italy as well as was a pupil of A.Scarlatti (1660-1725), that is completely wrong.


Main Worksกก

Orchestral Humoresque humoresque pour orchestre (1891/1928) {wood, hrn, timp, bell, strings /orch}
Ballade in the form of Flandre folksongs
ballade en forme von variationen über ein flämisches volkslied (-) {strings}
Italian suite
suite italienne (-)
Flandre suite
suite flamande (-)
Autumn impressions
impression di automne (-)
Four Flandre songs with accompaniment of Vielles
quatre vileilles chansons flamandes (-)
Concerto Fantasy fantaisie sur des vieilles chansons flamandes (1892) {p, orch}
Piano concerto No.1 in C concerto pour piano No.1 en ut (1914) {p, orch}
Piano concerto No.2 in B concerto pour piano No.2 en Si (-) {p, orch}
Concertino concertino pour piano et petit orchestre (-) {p, orch}
Chamber Violin Sonata No.1 in D minor sonate No.1 en ré mineur (1896/1932) {vln, p}
Violin Sonata No.2 in C minor
sonate No.2 en ut mineur (1933) {vln, p}
Piano Slanting rays of the sun coucher de soleil (1913) ... Orchestrated version exists.
Five etudes in concert form
cinq etudes de concert (1914-1918)
Sonata in C minor for 2 Pianos
sonate en ut mineur pour deux pianos (1928) {2p}
valse-caprice
(-) {2p}
Songs Five songs of love cinq chants d'amour pour soprano et orchestre (1903) {sop, orch}
Reference Blom, E(ed.). 1966. Grove's dictionary of music and musicians. London: Macmillan Co.ltd.
Sadie, S.(ed.) 1980. New grove dictionary of music and musicians. Oxford Univ.Press.


De Greef Disc Review


"Humoresque for Orchestra / Cinq Chants d'Amour / Piano Concerto No.2" (Klara-Et'cetera : KTC 4013)
Yannick Nézet-Séguin (cond) Artur Pizarro (p) Charlotte Riedijk (sop) Flemish Radio Orchestra
Greef is a Belgian composer who was born in 1862, the same year of Debussy's birth. The fact makes us having a considerable expectation of his compositional diction (like: another Debussy, wow!). On the one hand, his master was Gevaert and Liszt, very conservative for his era. In his instance, the present disc demonstrates that his aesthetic is the latter, Saint-Saens follower. Humoresque in 1891 is written in a typical Wagneristic effusive maner. I have to confess that I was disappointed in listening this. However, he seemed to give some effort to progress his compositional diction after the coming of 20 century. Although his Wagner-based effusive manner still exists, he came to be capable of applying skillful French-rooted chromatic key changes on his works, and it makes his 5 chants turns romantic in a degree of Ropartz-in-his-youth level. Because of this sequential progression, the most impressive work in this CD is his latest work, piano concerto No.2. Sounds like chopin with the lack of Polish rugged appeances or Raphmaninov without Russian smell.Although the progression is done within the range of conservative latter-romantic idiom, This can be recommended as a masterpiece even for modern music lovers, especially the romanticism of the second movement. Performance is exccellent.

(2006. 9. 21 Uploaded)