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Maryon (-d’Aulby), (John) Edward

Maryon (-d’Aulby), (John) Edward

Maryon (-d’Aulby), (John) Edward, English composer; b. London, April 3, 1867; d. there, Jan. 31, 1954. He began to compose early in life. He went to Paris, where his first opera, L’Odalisque, won the Gold Medal at the Exposition of 1889; however, he regarded the work as immature and destroyed the score. In 1891 he studied with Max Pauer in Dresden; later took lessons with Wullner in Cologne. From 1914 to 1919 he was in Montclair, N.J., where he established a cons, with a fund for exchange of music students between England and America; in 1933 he returned to London. He wrote the operas Paolo and Francesca; La Robe de plume; The Smelting Pot; The Prodigal Son; Werewolf; Rembrandt; Greater Love; and Abelard and Heloise. In his Werewolf he applied a curious system of musical symbolism, in which the human part was characterized by the diatonic scale and the lupine self by the wholetone scale; Maryon made a claim of priority in using the wholetone scale consistently as a leading motive in an opera. His magnum opus was a grandiose operatic heptalogy under the title The Cycle of Life, comprising 7 mystical dramas:Lucifer, Cain, Krishna, Magdalen, Sangraal, Psyche, and Nirvana. He also wrote a symphonic poem, The Feather Robe, subtitled A Legend of Fujiyama (1905), which he dedicated to the Emperor of Japan; and Armageddon Requiem (1916), dedicated to the dead of World War I. After Maryon’s death, his complete MSS were donated to the Boston Public Library. Maryon developed a theory of universal art, in which colors were associated with sounds. An outline of this theory was publ. in his Marcotone (NX, 1915).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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