Composer of 'B'

Alfred Bruneau (1857-1934)

A French composer. Formal name is Alfred Louis Charles Bonaventure Bruneau. He was born in Paris on 3th of March, 1857. He started to learn playing cello from his childhood, under his father. His father was a violinist who had founded 'L'union internationale des composieurs' in 1884. He entered Paris Conservatory in 1876 when he was 16, until his graduation in 1879, he studied cello under Auguste Franchomme, harmony and theory under Marie Gabriel Savard, as well as composition under Jules Massenet from 1879 to 1881, and has obtained first prize of cello class in 1876. After the graduation from Paris Conservatory, he entered the Orchestra of Pasdeloup as a celist where he started to compose. He received a wide reputation as a composer from earlier in his musical life such that he won the Second Grand Prix of the Prix de Rome in 1881 with his cantata 'Geneviève', obtained the Region d'honnor Prize in 1895, as well as becoming an inspector of the Academy of Beaux Arts (the position was succeeded from Fauré). Above all, he enjoyed a wide popularity as a operatic composer. In 1888, he came to know a novel 'Le Rêve (the dream)' written by a naturalist novelist Emile Zola and profoundly fascinated. Since when, he began to compose many operas under the influence of him. He was also active as a conductor and critic, such that he was a conductor of Paris Opera Comique from 1900-1904 period and a musical critic on daily journals such as Revue Indépendante (1889-1890), Gil Bras (1892-1895), Le Figaro (1895-1901) Le Grande Revue (1902), Le Matin (1904-1907/1909-1933). His compositional diction is traditional and largely rooted on Wagnerists and Italian Romantists. He died in Paris on 15th of June, 1934. (©2005 by K.S.)

กกMain Works

Stage Mischief, Stratagem and Revenge scherz, list und rache (1878)
Kérim (1887) {3act}
The Dream
le rêve (1891) {4act}
Attack to a Watermill
l'attaque du moulin (1891-1893) {4act}
messidor (1894-1896) {4act}
The Storm
l'ouragan (1897-1900) {14act}
lazare (1899) {1act}
The Infant King
l'enfant roi (1902) {5act}
Incident Music 'The Fate of Abbe Mouret'
la fate de l'Abbé Mouret (1904-1905)
Nativity of Micoulin
naïs Micoulin (1906) {2act}
That Four-Days les quatre journées (1908-1916) {4act}
Comedy 'King Candaule'
le roi Candaule (1917-1919) {4act}
A Garden in the Paradise
le jardin du paradis (1913-1921) {4act}
Angelo, Tyran de padoue (1927) {5act}
virginie (1931) {3act}
Ballet Female Dancer of Bacchusles bacchantes (1887)
Orchestral Heroic Overture ouverture heroïque (1883-1884)
Beauty in the Sleeping Forest
la belle au bois dormant (1884-1886)
Chamber Fantasy fantaisie (1901) {hrn, p}
Songs Jeanne D'Arc Jeanne d 'arc (1878)
Two Pieces deux Morceaux de genre (1878) {vo, chamber}
Five Songs cinq mélodies (1879)
Melodies of Youth mélodies de jeunesse (1881)
Cantata 'Genevieve'Cantata 'Geneviève' (1881)
Leda Léda (1882) {vo, orch}
Two Melodies for Solo Voice deux mélodies pour un voix (1882-1884)
The Smalls les petiots (1887) {2f-vo}
Penthesilea Penthésilée (1884-1888) {vo, orch}
Three Melodies trois mélodies (1882)
A Night in May nuit de mai (1886) {vo, chamber}
Ten French Songs dix lieds de France (1891-1892)
Six Danse Songs
six chansons à danseur (1894-1912)
Requiem requiem (1896)
Song of Life chants de la vie (1911-1912)
Tambourin le tambour (1915) {vo, orch}
Song of the Frag le chant du drapeau (1915-1916) {vo, orch}
Ship le navire (1917) {vo, orch}
Traditional Songs chanson antiques (1922-1927)
Songs of Infancy and Youthfulness chansons d'enfance et de jeunesse (1922-1927)
Outside plein air (1932)
Two songs by Four Voices deux chansons ou quatuors vocaux (1933) {4vo}

กกBruneau Disc Review

"Requiem / Lazare" (RCA : 74321 75087 2)
Jacques Mercier (cond) Francoise Pollet, Mary Saint-Palais (sop) Sylvie Sullé (msp) Jean-Luc Viala (tnr) Laurent Naouri (btn) Orchestre National d'ille de France : Choeur Régional Vittoria d'ille de France
He was active as an operatic composer in Paris around the turn of 19th to 20th century. That was the era that the newer and older senses of values confronted violently. Although six years senior to Debussy, his compositional diction was strictly traditional and totally opposite from Debussian radicalists manner. Because he selected the life as an honor student, he was spoiled (or loved) by senior members who sticked to conservative sense of values. In contrast to Ravel, for example, he was honored by Prix de Rome quickly and went to Italy. Then, he had contributed to the high-society in Paris and ended his life without any serious affairs. Instead of such lifelong peace and fame, his name is totally forgotten in nowadays, conversely to Ravel - one of the most admired composer in the present days. Bruneau's orchestral music can be listened also as a works which was issued from Marco Polo. The contents are strictly conservative Wagnerian opera music. This CD, performed by Jacques Mercier and iLe de France Orchestra who have recorded Schmitt's Salambo, is no exception. This is completely for the fans who love Massenet and Gounod, not for the impressionistic music lovers.

"Entr'acte pour IVe acte de Messidor / Le Légende de l'Or / Prélude du Naïs Micoulin / Suite Tirée de l'Opera L' Attaque du Moulin" (Marco Polo : 8. 223498)
James Lockhart (cond) Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie
As a honor student of senior school around belle-epoque era, he left many stage works. This Marco Polo disc consists of fragments taken from his stage works focusing on his feature as such an operatic composer. Before RCA published his requiem as you can see above, this recording had provided precious oppotunity to listen this unknown composer. As you can easily imagine, the compositional style that you can hear on this CD seems to have effected significantly by his masters, his skills to write well prepared key-changes and to arrange each voice onto the construction clearly demonstrate his mastery that made him to have obtained the 2'nd Roman Prize. If you are capable to enjoy elder French romantists as well, I can be sure that you will love this composer also. Therefore it is regretable for me to quote the quality in performance from the following sentense. Lockhart with State Orchestra of Rhin Region is one of the most-cherished (by Marco) combination. They are one of the most aggressive digger of underrated modern composers such as Aubert Lemeland or Paul le Flem. Needless to say that the spirit and will should be highly admired. However, their performance in reality is always far worse than their beautiful craftmanship. This disc regretably provides another example. Each phrase of strings part gets disordered as well as anyones frequently missed to play certain tones in a certain pitch. The tendency occurs too frequent for me to point out at each time, so that I already gave up and started to try to think myself that is a character of this orchestra. I can hear their voices without saying anything everytime I encounterd their mistakes that was 'If you think our performance is not well trained, of course you do not have to buy ours. Well, your act automatically leads you to lose your chance to listen the composer because they are rare!!'

(2005. 1. 29 upload, US west standard time)