Composer of 'M'

Pierre Maurice (1868-1936)

A Swiss composer. He was born in Allaman (a village near from the lake Geneve) on 13th of November, 1868. In his boyhood, he was inspired to listen Meyerbeer's 'L'Africaine' and decided to be a composer. Because his father had doubt of his ability, he should study privately at first. Therefore, He initially studied harmony under Hugo de Senger when he was 17. Then he went Sututtgart (Germany) under the teacher's avdice and studied harmony under Percy Goetschius for one year. After his back to his home country, he entered Geneve Conservatory to study harmony and counterpoint under Jean Jaques-Dalcroze. at that time, he also became a bank clerk to cover the school fees. His enthusiasm made his father to be convinced. Then he could go to Paris Conservatory for studying composition under Massenet, orchestration under Fauré, harmony under Lavignac, whereas fugue and counterpoint under Gédalge. After his graduation in 1899, he went back to his country and became a famous opera composer. Despite of his weak health, he devoted himself to compose many stage works. His compositional diction can be characterised as a stream-follower of his teacher, Massenet in form and stage-work relying tendency although of many progressions in harmonic content. He died in Genf (=Geneve) on 25th of December, 1936.

Main Works

Stage Works 'Calife's Stork' opera: le calife cigogne (1886?)
'The White Flag' opera: le drapeau blanc (1902)
'Misé Brun' opera: misé brun (1908)
'Lanval' opera: Lanval (1912)
Arambel mimodrame: Arambel (1920)
'Andromeda' opera: Andromède (1923)
'All Cats Look the Same in the Dark' opera: la nuit tous les chats sont gris (1924)
'Das Tanzlegendchen' ballet: das tanzlegendchen (1929)
'The Pharaoh's Cursing' operetta: la vengeance du Pharaon (1935)
Orchestral A Fisherman from the Island pêcheeur d'islande (1895)
Daphne Daphné (1894-1897)
Symphonic Poem 'Francesca da Rimini' Francesca da Rimini (1899)
Fugue for Strings fugue pour instruments à cordes (1901)
Persephone Perséphone (1930)
Songs Lenore Lenore (1889) <vo, orch>
A Feicul Flute la flûte de jade (1925-1926) <sop, orch>
Choral Oratorio: A Girl of Jephte la fille de Jephté (1898) <vos, choir, orch>
Gorm Grymme gorm grymme (1912) <bass, choir, orch>
Oratorio: Yule nativité (1933) <vos, choir, orch>

Maurice Disc Review

"La Nuit tous les Chants sont Gris / Pêcheur d'Islande / Francesca da Rimini / Daphné / Perséphone / Fugue pour Instruments à Cordes" (Sterling : CDS-1053-2)
Adriano (cond) Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Although he is a composer of Switzerland, Pierre Maurice has the experience of studying abroad in France. I have to confess that it was totally a fluke of knowing this composer. In fact even when I purchased it, I had no idea what his compositions tasted. Therefore, it is understandable to find the names of Adriano and Moscow Symphony on the booklet. Needless to say, Adriano is one of the most daring maniacs who wants to explore the mine of minor-composers. In other words, he is a real 'Marco Polo'. This time is no exception. He digged out another Zipangu again. It is another fortune that he selected Marco Polo's most confidential orchestra. Even though of weak health, the composer was really energetic that he talked his father to forgive his studying abroad in Paris under Massenet. After the homecoming, he became active as a operatic composer like his teacher. Such life history tells his compositional diction in some extent. As for the form, his compositions are strongly influenced by latter romantist idiom whereas we can point out they take some steps toward more impressionisticcolorization in harmonic content (they sound somewhat like Ibert). If you love the music of Rabaud and Roger-Ducasse, I can predict you will love this minor composer.

(2004. 4. 18)