Composer of 'F'

Ernest Fanelli (1860-1917)

A French percussionist and a composer. He was born in Paris on June 29th in 1860. His father had come from Bologna and worked as a bank clerk. Although he once entered Paris Conservatory, he could not complete his study because of the discord between his teacher. Therefore he became a percussionist of an orchestra for stabilizing his living. Then he entered Paris Conservatory again and studied composition under Léo Delibes although he could not complete the study because of his financial problems. Groves dictionary says he also has studied under Charles-Valentin Alkan, A.F. Marmontel, Jule Laurent, and Anacharsis Duprato. He was appointed as an percussionist of the Colonne Orchestra (founded by Gabriel Perné) in 1912. Because printing technology was still not so popularized in those days, Pierné once asked him to handcopy the scores for the members of the orchestra. At the time, he gave Pierné his composition score of 'romance of mummy' to prove his writing skill. Pierné was deeply impressed the work such that later he mentioned 'all of the compositional dictions used by the famous modern composers can be seen in this composition already'. Accordingly some of his works was given the first public performances by Pierné and fairly be known. Maurice Ravel also came to know his work and surprized to write 'by now, we come to know really where impressionistic diction came from'. However, basically he was left unknown. After 1894 (the year Debussy's 'faune' struck the scene), he seemed to lost any hope to be evaluated and laid down his pen. He passed away in Paris on 24th of November 1917. (2003-2005©K.S.)

Main Works

Stage Two Caissons les deux tonneaux (1879) {3act} ...After Voltaire
Orchestral Saint Preux of Clarens St Preux à Clarens (1881)
Symphonic Poem 'Thebes (nymphs)' Thebes (1883)
Masquarade mascarade (1889)
Suite in Rabelaisian Manner
suite rabelaisienne (1889)
carnaval (1890)
Symphonic Picture 'A Romance of a Mummy'
tableaux symphoniques 'le roman de la momie' (1883/1886)
Impressions in Form of Pastorale impressions pastorales (1890)
In the Palace of Guardees au palais de l'escorial (1890)
Heroic march marche héroïque (1891)
Fear the Sun l'effroi du soleil (-)
Chamber Remembrance of Youthful Days souvenirs de jeunesse (1872-1878) {p}
Poetic Recollections souvenirs poètiques (1872-1878)
A Night in Sophor Region une nuit chez Sophor (1891) {fl, cl, pf, strings}
32 Songs 32 chansons (1880-1892) ...each titles are not specified
humoresques (1892-1894) {cl, p}
String Quintet 'A Donkey' quintette à cordes 'le aneu' (1894) {2vln, 2vla, vc?}
Reference Rosar, W.H. 2004. New Grove Online. Oxford University Press.

Fanelli Disc Review

" 'Le Roman de la Momie' (Fanelli) Rhapsodie Cambodgienne (Bourgault-Ducoudray)" (Marco-Polo : 8.225234)
Adriano (cond) Lydia Drahosova (msp) Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
For all modern music lovers, this is absolutely the most epoch-making issue in the first 5 years of this new millenium. The composer, Fanelli is a son of a familly from Bologna, was taught composition mainly by himself. Consequently, he wasn't be recognized as a composer. Time has passed and welcomed Debussy and Stravinsky as the innovetors. However, this CD clearly demonstrates he should had been nominated as the innovator because of the use of whole tomes, polyphony, and non-functional harmonies already in 1883 whereas Debussy couldn't complete his diction by 1894. Of course, as for this composition, the date was declared by Fanelli so that I can not be sure the authenticity. But he still has another evidence of 'Impressions Pastorales', which was given its first performance in 1890 (still earlier than Debussy's 'faune'). If we come to have the supportive evidence(s) of the hypothesis by the bibliographical studies, this must become the Copernican historcal change of modern classical music. Also Pierne's largest contribution as a conductor would be the discovery of Fanelli. As for the content, the work is primary an example of 'musical description' such that the title implied. If you compare this work to Stravinsky and Debussy's ones, you will find that his work does not contain any irregulary ordered rhythms (of Stravinsky) or Debussy-like scents. Also he just repeated some simple phrases with colorful orchestration representing his work is basically characterized as symphonic 'picture' (yes it is the idiom of Massenet group). It is not impressionistic or primitive styles although his sound color resembles them. This disc also contains another work written by B-Ducoudray - the teacher of another pre-Debussian pioneer: Maurice Emmanuel. His composition can be summarized as a typical 'latter romantic' one, such as those of Roger-Ducasse or Henri Rabaud with hints of exotism.

(2003. 8. 6)