Lekeu, Guillaume

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Lekeu, Guillaume

Lekeu, Guillaume (Jean Joseph Nicolas), promising Belgian composer; b. Heusy, near Verviers, Jan. 20, 1870; d. Angers, Jan. 21, 1894. After initial training in Poitiers, he studied in Paris with Vallin, Franck, and d’Indy. He won second prize in the Belgian Prix de Rome with his cantata Andromède (1891), which led Ysaye to commission his most important score, the Violin Sonata (1892). Among Lekeu’s other notable works were the Adagio for String Quartet and String Orch. (1891) and the Fantaisie sur deux airs populaires angevins for Orch. (1892). His career was cut short by typhoid fever. In his works, he was mainly influenced by Franck.


dramatic:Barberine, operatic fragments (1889). ORCH.: Chant de triomphal délivrance (1889); Hamlet (1890); Adagio for String Quartet and String Orch. (1891); Fantaisie sur deux airs populairs angevins (1892). CHAMBER: Andante et variations for Violin and Piano (1885); String Quartet (1887); Meditation and Minuet for String Quartet (1887); Cello Sonata (1888; completed by d’Indy); Adagio for 2 Violins and Piano (1888); Piano Quartet (1888; completed by d’Indy); Fantaisie contrapunctique sur un cramignon liégeois for Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, and Strings (1890); Epithalame for String Quintet, 3 Trombones, and Organ (1891); Introduction et adagio for Brass and Tuba Obbligato (1891); Piano Trio (1891); Violin Sonata (1892). Piano: Sonata (1891); other pieces. VOCAL: Noël for 2 Sopranos, String Quartet, and Piano (1888); Andromède, cantata (1891); Chant lyrique for Chorus and Orch. (1891); Suite for Voice and Orch. (1892); songs.


A. Tissier, G. L. (Verviers, 1906); M. Lorrain, G. L: Sa correspondance sa vie et son oeuvre (Liège, 1923); R. Stengel, L (Brussels, 1944); P. Prist, G. L. (Brussels, 1946); L. Verdebout, G. L: Correspondance: Introduction, chronologie et catalogue des oeuvres (Liège, 1993).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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