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Chaynes, Charles

Chaynes, Charles

Chaynes, Charles, French composer and broadcasting administrator; b. Toulouse, July 11, 1925. He first studied with his parents, who taught at the Toulouse Cons., and then entered the Paris Cons., where he took courses in violin with Gabriel Bouillon, in chamber music with Joseph Calvet, in composition with Milhaud and Rivier, and in harmony and fugue with N. and J. Gallon (Premier Grand Prix de Rome, 1951, with the cantata Et l’homme vit se rouvrir les portes). After composing at the French Academy in Rome (1952–55), he returned to Paris and joined the ORTF as a radio producer in 1956. He then was director of its France-Musique channel (1965–75) before serving as its chief of the music service (1975–90). In 1960 he won the Concours Prince Rainier of Monaco, in 1965 the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris, in 1979 the UNESCO composition prize, and in 1998 the Prix Cino del Duca de l’Institut de France. As a composer, Chaynes has pursued an independent course in which free atonality is enlivened by infusions of East Asian and African modes of expression.


DRAMATIC: Opera: Erzsebet (1982; Paris, March 28, 1983); Noces de sang, after Garcia Lorca (1986); Jocaste (1991–92); Cecilia (1998). orch.:Divertissement for Strings (1949); Danses symphoniques (1951); Concerto for Strings (1953); Ode pour une mort tragique (1953–54); Sym. (1955); 2 trumpet concertos (1956, 1995); 2 violin concertos (1958, 1993); Deuxième Concerto (1960; Monte Carlo, Nov. 25, 1962); Quatre illustrations pour “La Flûte de jade” for Flute and Orch. (Aix-en-Provence, July 23, 1960); Piano Concerto (1961; Paris, Feb. 17, 1966); Expressions contrastées (1965; Strasbourg, June 23, 1966); Organ Concerto (1966); Irradiations for Violin, Cello, Harpsichord, and Strings (1968; Bordeaux, June 9, 1969); Transmutations (1969; Besançon, Sept. 4, 1971); Lieu de lumière (1972); Mazapán (1973; Paris, June 7, 1974); Peintures noires (1974; Paris, April 27, 1975); Visions concertantes for Guitar and Strings (Besançon, Sept. 11, 1976); Les Caractères illisibles for Chamber Orch. (1978; Paris, Jan. 21, 1980); Clarinet Concerto (1978; Orléans, Dec. 2, 1979); Visages Mycéniens (1983); Litanies (1988); 2 flute concertos (1991, 1994). chamber: Violin Sonata (1952); Serenade for Wind Quintet (1954); Lied, Scherzando et Final for Double Bass and Piano (1957); Variations sur Tanka for Flute and Piano (1962); Trois Études linéaires for Chamber Group (1963); Commentaires concertants for Chamber Group (1964); Concordances for Bronte, Percussion, and Piano (1967); String Quartet (1970); Séquences pour l’Apocalypse for 6 Instruments (1971–72); Tarquinia for Ondes Martenot, Piano, and Percussion (1973); Onze visages ou VAntifugue for 11 Strings (1979); Valeurs transposées for Chamber Group (1979); Lorsque Cecile chantait for 5 Instruments (1983); Kermesse flamande for 15 Wind Instruments (1987); Comme un raga for Violin (1988); Pour caresser la silence for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Harp, Piano, and Percussion (1992); Pour faire le portrait d’un oiseau for 11 Strings (1994). keyboard: p i a n o:M’zab (1971); Et si c’était une valse for 2 Pianos (1977). O r g a n : A la recherche du sacré (1983); Vers la lumière (1990). vocal:Et l’homme vit se rouvrir les portes, cantata (1951); Par ces Chemins du coeur, 6 prayers for Soprano and Orch. or Piano (1953); Joie aux âmes for 4 Soloists and 5 Instruments (1962); Quatres Poèmes de Sappho for Soprano and String Trio (1968); Pour un Monde Noir for Soprano and Orch. (1976–78); Oginoha for Soprano, Flute, Celtic Harp, and Percussion (1986); Au-ndelà de l’Espérance for Mezzo-soprano and Piano (1989).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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