Bernard van Dieren

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Dieren, Bernard van

Dieren, Bernard van, Dutch-English composer and writer; b. Rotterdam, Dec. 27, 1887; d. London, April 24, 1936. He began playing the violin at an early age but later pursued his enthusiasm for literature and science. As a composer, he was self-taught. In 1909 he settled in England, where he devoted much time to writing criticism for continental newspapers and magazines. Among his writings were a study of the sculptor Jacob Epstein (London, 1920) and an interesting collection of essays, Down Among the Dead Men (London, 1935). As a composer, he developed a highly personal style of harmonic and contrapuntal complexity.

Works

DRAMATIC opéra : The Tailor (1917). ORCH.: Elegy for Cello and Orch. (1908); Beatrice Cenci (1909); Overture (1916); Serenade for Small Orch. (c. 1923); Anjou, overture (1935); Sym. (unfinished). CHAMBER : Canzonetta for Violin and Piano (c. 1907); Impromptu Fantasiestuck for Violin (1909); 6 string quartets (1912, 1917, 1918, 1923, 1927, 1928); Sonata tyroica for Violin and Piano (1913); Sonata for Solo Cello (1929); Duettino for 2 Violins (1933); Sonata for Solo Violin (1935). Piano : 6 Sketches (1911); Toccata (1912); 12 Netherlands Melodies (1918); Tema con variazione (1928). VOCAL: Balsazar for Chorus and Orch. (1908); Chinese Symphony for 5 Soli, Chorus, and Orch. (1914); Diaphonia for Baritone and Chamber Orch. (1916); 2 Poems for Speaker and String Quartet (1917); 2 Songs for Baritone and String Quartet (1917); Les propous des beuveurs for Chorus and Orch. (1921); Sonetto VII of Edmund Spenser’s Amoretti for Tenor and Chamber Orch. (1921); various other songs.

Bibliography

A. Chisolm, B. v. D.: An Introduction (London, 1984).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Dieren, Bernard van (b Rotterdam, 1887; d London, 1936). Dutch composer, long resident in Eng. Trained as scientist, but began to write mus. criticism and in 1909 settled in London as correspondent for several European periodicals. His works became the subject of a cult among leading Brit. intellectuals of the 1920s, e.g. Sitwells, Gerald Cooper, Heseltine, Gray, and others. Successive efforts to persuade his contemporary public and later generations of his genius have made little ground, the mus. being less novel than is suggested. Works incl. The Tailor (comic opera) (1917); Symphony on Chinese Themes (with vv.) (1914); Serenade; 6 str. qts.; solo vn. sonata; songs. Wrote book on Epstein (1920) and vol. of criticism, Down Among the Dead Men (1935).

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van Dieren, Bernard. See Dieren, Bernard van.