Join us Fri. April 20 at 1:30 PM in the Gorno Library for a concert of songs by Henri Duparc performed by members of the Collaborative Piano Seminar in conjunction with the Special Topics Voice students. View program (pdf). The event is free and open to all.
About the concert:
Henri Duparc (1848 – 1933) is a unique composer in that his entire international reputation rests upon the sixteen songs for one voice and piano as well as the solitary duet for two voices and piano. These songs were composed between 1868 and 1884. He chose to orchestrate some of them for symphonic concert performances in the following decade but failed to compose anything new for the remainder of his life. This phenomenon was caused by a neurasthenic condition that struck in the mid 1880’s and consistently worsened as the decades went by.
He was very strongly influenced by César Franck’s teaching in his productive decades and it was Franck who encouraged him to make pilgrimages to Munich and Bayreuth in order to hear the Wagner operas not being presented in Paris. The unstable chromatic harmonies of Franck and Wagner are clearly audible in some of the more mature songs. From at least two of the songs, it would appear Duparc was also familiar with the darker influences of Edgar Allan Poe’s world of the macabre.
When taken as a whole, this limited output contains a surprisingly broad variety of songs and at least two of which (to poems of Baudelaire) count among the greatest merging of poet and composer in the history of French song.