Blockx, Jan

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Blockx, Jan

Blockx, Jan, significant Flemish composer; b. Antwerp, Jan. 25, 1851; d. Kapellenbos, near Antwerp, May 26, 1912. He studied organ with Callaerts and composition with Benoit. In 1885 he became a lecturer at the Flemish Music School; also was music director of the Cercle Artistique and other societies in Belgium. With Benoit, he is regarded as the strongest representative of the national Flemish school of composition. While the melodic and rhythmic materials in his music strongly reflect Flemish folk elements, the treatment, contrapuntal and harmonic, is opulent, approaching Wagnerian sonorities.


DRAMATIC: Opera: Jets vergeten (Antwerp, Feb. 19, 1877); Maître Martin (Brussels, Nov. 30, 1892); Herbergprinses (Antwerp, Oct. 10, 1896; produced in French as Princesse d’auberge, N.Y., March 10, 1909); Thyl Uylenspiegel (Brussels, Jan. 12, 1900); De bruid der zee (Antwerp, Nov. 30, 1901); De kapel (Antwerp, Nov. 7, 1903); Baldie (Antwerp, Jan. 25, 1908; rev. and perf. under the title Lief delied; Antwerp, Jan. 6, 1912). Ballet: Milenka (1887). OTHER: Rubens, overture for Orch.; Romance for Violin and Orch.; several choral works with Orch., among them Vredezang, Het droom vont paradies, De klokke Roelandt, Op den stroom, and Scheldezang.


L. Solvay, Notice sur J. B. (Brussels, 1920); F. Blockx, /. B. (Brussels, 1943).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire