Des Marais, Paul (Emile)

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Des Marais, Paul (Emile)

Des Marais, Paul (Emile), American composer;b. Menominee, Mich., June 23, 1920. He studied with Sowerby in Chicago (1937–41), Boulanger in Cambridge, Mass. (1941–42) and Paris (1949), and Piston at Harvard Univ. (B.A., 1949; M.A., 1953). He received the Lili Boulanger prize (1947–48), the Boott prize in Composition from Harvard (1949), and a John Knowles Paine Traveling Fellowship (1949–51). After teaching at Harvard (1953–56), he was on the faculty of the Univ. of Calif, at Los Angeles (from 1956), where he received the Inst. of Creative Arts Award (1964–65); he later received the Phoebe Ketchum Thorne award (1970–73). He publ. the study Harmony (1962) and contributed articles to Perspectives of New Music. His early music was oriented toward neo-Classicism, with pandiatonic excrescences in harmonic structures. He later moved to a free combination of serial and non-serial elements, functioning on broad tonal planes.


DRAMATIC Epiphanies, chamber opéra (1968); Orpheus, theater piece for Narrator and Instruments (1987); incidental music to Dryden’s A Secular Masque (1976), Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1976), Sophocles’ Oedipus (1978), G.B. Shaw’s St. Joan (1980), Dryden’s Marriage a la Mode (1981), Shakespeare’s As You Like It (1983), and G. Etherege’s The Man of Mode (1984). D a n c e : Triplum for Organ and Percussion (1981); Touch for 2 Pianos (1984). CHAMBER : 2 piano sonatas (1947, 1952); Theme and Changes for Harpsichord (1953); Capriccio for 2 Pianos and Percussion (1962); 2 Movements for 2 Pianos and Percussion (1972; rev. and enl. as 3 Movements, 1975); Baroque Isles: The Voyage Out for 2 Keyboard Percussionists (1986); The French Park for 2 Guitars (1988). CHORAL : Polychoric Mass for Voices (1949); Motet for Voices, Cellos, and Double Basses (1959); Psalm 121 for Chorus (1959); Organum 1–6 for Chorus, Organ, and Percussion (1972; rev. and enl. 1980); Brief Mass for Chorus, Organ, and Percussion (1973); Seasons of the Mind for Chorus, Piano 4-Hands, and Celesta (1980–81). VOCAL: Le Cimetiere marin for Voice, keyboards, and Percussion (1971); solo songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Des Marais, Paul (Emile)

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