Landowski, Marcel (François Paul), eminent French composer and administrator; b. Pont-L’Abbé, Finistère, Feb. 18, 1915; d. Paris, Dec. 22, 1999. He was the great-grandson of Henri Vieuxtemps and the son of the sculptor Paul Landowski. He received training in piano from Marguerite Long (1922) and in conducting from Monteux (1932), and was a student of Fauchet (harmony), N. Gallon (fugue), Büsser (composition), and Gaubert (conducting) at the Paris Cons. (1934–37). While rising to eminence as a composer, Landowski also became a prominent administrator. From 1960 to 1965 he was director of the Boulogne-Billancourt Cons., and from 1962 to 1966 he was director of music of the Comédie- Française in Paris. In 1964 he was named inspector-general of music for the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, later serving as its chief of the music service (1966–70) and as director of music, lyric art, and dance (1970–74). In 1974 he became inspector-general of music for the Ministry of Education. From 1977 to 1979 he was director of cultural affairs for the City of Paris. He was president of the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris from 1980 to 1991. He served as president and director-general of the Editions Salabert in Paris from 1991. In 1950 he received the Grand Prix of the City of Paris for composition. The Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique awarded him its Grand Prix in 1968 and its Prix Maurice Ravel in 1973. In 1975 Landowski was elected a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts of the Institut de France, serving as its permanent secretary from 1968 to 1994. In 1987 he was made a Commandeur of the Légion d’honneur. In 1994 he was named Chancelier of the Institut de France. He was the author of L’orchestre (with L. Aubert; Paris, 1951), Honegger (Paris, 1957), Batailles pour la musique (Paris, 1979), and La Musique n’adoucit pas les moeurs (Paris, 1990). Landowskys compositions reveal his penchant for eclecticism. While his works are always expertly crafted, his generally accessible style is occasionally made more adventuresome by his utilization of atonal, electronic, and electroacoustic diversions. Some of his piano works were written for his wife, Jacqueline Potier, whom he married in 1941.
dramatic:Le Tour d’une aile de pigeon, operetta (Paris, April 1, 1938; in collaboration with J.-J. Grünewald); Les Fleurs de la petite Ida, ballet (Paris, June 19, 1938); Clairs-obscurs, ballet (Paris, Nov. 1938); Après-midi champêtre, ballet (Versailles, March 30, 1941); Les Travaux et les jours, ballet (1943); Les Djinns, ballet (Paris, March 11, 1944); La Rire de Nils Halerius, lyric legend (1944-48; Mulhouse, Jan. 19, 1951); Le Fou, lyric drama (1948-55; Nancy, Feb. 1, 1956); Rabelais, François de France, opera-ballet (Tours, July 26, 1953); Le Ventriloque, lyric comedy (1954-55; Paris, Feb. 6, 1956); L’Opéra de Poussière, lyric drama (1958-62; Avignon, Oct. 25, 1962); Abîmes, ballet (Essen, Feb. 12, 1959); Les Adieux, lyric drama (Radio Luxembourg, Nov. 1959; first stage perf., Paris, Oct. 8, 1960); Le Leçon d’Anatomie, ballet (The Hague, 1964; based on the Sym. No. 1); Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, ballet (1979; Paris, Feb. 22, 1980); Les Hauts de Hurlevent, ballet (Paris, Dec. 28, 1982); La Sorcière du placard à balais, children’s mini-opera (Sevres, May 2, 1983); Montségur, lyric drama (Toulouse, Feb. 1, 1985); La Vieille Maison, musical (1987; Nantes, Feb. 25, 1988); P’tit Pierre et la Sorcière du placard à balais, children’s opera (1991; Colmar, May 7, 1992); Galina, opera (1995; Lyons, March 17, 1996); incidental music; film scores. orch.: 2 piano concertos: No. 1, Poème (1939-0; Paris, March 1, 1942) and No. 2 (1963; Paris, Feb. 28, 1964); Brumes, symphonic poem (1943; Paris, March 5, 1944); Cello Concerto (1944-45; Paris, Nov. 25, 1946); Edina, symphonic poem (Paris, Dec. 17, 1946); Le Petit Poucet, suite (1946; Cannes, Feb. 1947); Ballet des Jeux du Monde (1948); Le Voyageur et la voyageuse, suite (1948); 5 syms.: No. 1, Jean de la Peur (Paris, April 3, 1949), No. 2 (1964; Paris, Nov. 16, 1965), No. 3, Les Espaces (Strasbourg, June 24, 1965), No. 4 (Paris, Oct. 15, 1988), and No. 5, Les lumières de la nuit (Paris, Nov. 20, 1998); Trois histoires de la prairie, suite (1950); Ondes Martenot Concerto (1954; Vichy, Sept. 16, 1955; also as Concerto en trio for Ondes Martenot, Percussion, and Piano, 1975); Bassoon Concerto (1957; Paris, June 1958); La Passante, suite (1958); Mouvement for Strings (1960); L’Orage, symphonie poem (1960); 2 flute concertos: No. 1 for Flute and Strings (Bordeaux, May 27, 1968) and No. 2 (Sofia, May 28, 1998); Au bout de chagrin, une fenêtre ouverte, concerto for Trumpet, Orch., and Tape (1976; Paris, June 24, 1977); L’Horloge, symphonie poem (Paris, May 6, 1982); Improvisation for Trombone and Orch. (Toulon, May 20, 1983; also for Trombone and Piano); Les Orchestrades (St. Libéral, Aug. 31, 1985); Quatre préludes pour l’Opéra des Bastilles (Paris, Dec. 12, 1989); Concertino for Trombone and Strings (Metz, July 2, 1990); Adagio Cantabile for Oboe, English Horn, Percussion, and Strings (1991; Paris, Jan. 7, 1992); Symphonie concertante for Organ and Orch. (Cannes, Oct. 24, 1993); Que ma joie demeure for Violin and Strings (Athens, Sept. 1994); Violin Concerto (Paris, Nov. 30, 1995); Un Chant for Cello and Orch. (Budapest, Nov. 21, 1996); À Sainte Dévote (Monte Carlo, July 20, 1997); Ouverture pour un opéra imaginaire (Besaçon, Sept. 12, 1997). chamber: Trio for Horn, Trumpet, and Piano (1954); Quatre préludes for Percussion and Piano (Paris, June 1963); Étude de sonorité for Violin and Piano (1973; Paris, June 10, 1974); Concerto en trio for Ondes Martenot, Percussion, and Piano (1975; Paris, Dec. 1, 1976; also as the Ondes Martenot Concerto, 1954); Souvenir d’un jardin d’enfance for Oboe and Piano (Paris, June 1, 1977); Cahier pour quatre jours for Trumpet and Organ (1977; Munich, Feb. 1978); Improvisation for Trombone and Piano (1983; also for Trombone and Orch.); Sonate brève for Solo Cello (1985); Blanc et feu for Horn, 2 Trumpets, Trombone, and Tuba (1985); Petite chanson de l’amitié for 4 Cellos (1987–91); Étude de technique et de sonorité for Violin and Piano (Paris, Nov. 22, 1996); Velléda et le coeur de chêne for Violin and Harp (Pont l’Abbé, July 15, 1998).
piano: Sonatine (1940; Paris, May 10, 1941); Deux nocturnes (1945); Le Petit Poucet (1945); En trottinant sur le sentier (1959). vocal:Les Sept loups and Les Sorcières, ballades for Women’s Chorus and Orch. (Paris, Oct. 24, 1937); Trois melodies for Soprano and Orch. (1938; Cannes, Sept. 1942); Rythmes du Monde, oratorio (1939-41; Paris, April 26, 1941); Desbat du euer et du corps for Soprano, Tenor, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1943; Paris, Jan. 20, 1944); La Qûete sans fin, oratorio (1943-4; Paris, March 1945); Cantique d’actions de Grâces for Soloist, Chorus, and Piano or Organ (1945); Trois révérences à la mort for Soprano and Piano (1946); Jésus, là es-tu?, cantata for Alto, Women’s Chorus, and Piano or Strings, and Percussion (Paris, April 1948); Le Lac d’Undeneur for Contralto (1948–49); Quatre chants d’Innocence for Women’s Chorus (1952); Espoir for Chorus, Reciter, and Orch. (1959); Chant de Solitude for 4 Women’s Voices and Orch. (Paris, Aug. 21, 1960); Les Notes de Nuit for Reciter and Orch. (1961); Aux mendiants du Ciel, cantata for Soprano and Orch. (Fontevrault Abbey, June 11, 1966); Messe de l’Aurore for Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (Paris, Nov. 14, 1977); Un enfant appelle for Soprano, Cello, and Orch. (1978; Washington, D.C., Jan. 9, 1979); Le Pont de l’espérance, oratorio for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus, 2 Dancers, and Orch. (Vaison-la-Romaine, Aug. 8, 1980); La Prison for Soprano and Orch. (1981; Aix-en-Provence, July 18, 1983; also for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble); Chant de Paix “Ecoute ma voix…” for Soprano or Child’s Voice, Baritone, Children’s or Mixed Chorus, and Orch. or Organ (Paris, July 4, 1985); Help-Help Vatelot for Soprano, Cello, Chorus, and Small Instrumental Ensemble (Paris, Nov. 1985); Les Deux soeurs for Vocal Quartet (Rome, June 24, 1986); La Symphonie de Montségur for Soprano, Baritone, and Orch. (Paris, Oct. 18, 1987); Les Leçons des ténèbres for Soprano, Bass, Chorus, Organ, and Cello (1991; also for Soprano, Bass, Chorus, Organ, Cello, and Instrumental Ensemble, Paris, Nov. 26, 1991, or Orch.); Les Rois Mages, cantata for Voices, Flute, and Trumpet (Bayoux, June 18, 1994).
C. Baigneres, M. L (Paris, 1959); A. Golea, M. L: L’homme et son oeuvre (Paris, 1969); A. Livio, Conversations avec M. L. (Paris, 1998).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire