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Barraqué, Jean

Barraqué, Jean

Barraqué, Jean, French composer; b. Paris, Jan. 17, 1928; d. there, Aug. 17, 1973. He spent his entire life in Paris, where he received training in counterpoint and harmony from Langlais (1947) and attended Messiaen’s classes in analysis at the Cons. (1948–51). After working with Pierre Schaeffer (1951–54), he was a member of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (1961–70). Barraqué was a composer of theosophic aspirations and grandiose musical ideals. He first attracted attention with his expansive Piano Sonata (1950–52). Then followed his Séquence for Voice, Percussion, and Several Instruments, after Nietzsche (1950–55). His unfinished magnum opus was inspired by Hermann Broch’s philosophical vol. La Mort de Virgile, portions of whose text was used in the completed sections Le Temps Restitué for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1956–58), ...au delà du hasard for Four Instrumental Groups, Two Sopranos, and Alto (1959), and Chant après Chant for Six Percussion, Voice, and Piano (1965–66). Discours for 11 Voices, Piano, and Orch. (begun 1961), Lysanias for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Baritone, Piano, and Orch. (begun 1966), and Portiques de Feu for Chorus and 18 Voices (begun 1968) were never completed. He also wrote a Concerto for Six Instrumental Groups, Vibraphone, and Clarinet (1962–68), and publ. the book Debussy (Paris, 1962).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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