Paul Dukas

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Dukas, Paul

Dukas, Paul, famous French composer and teacher;b. Paris, Oct. 1,1865; d. there, May 17, 1935. From 1882 to 1888 he was a student at the Paris Cons., studying under Mathias (piano), Dubois (harmony), and Guiraud (composition). He won 1st prize for counterpoint and fugue in 1886, and the 2nd Prix de Rome with a cantata, Velleda (1888). He began writing music reviews in 1892, and was music critic of the Revue Hebdomadaire and Gazette des Beaux-Arts. In 1906 he was made a Chevalier of the Legion cThonneur. From 1910 to 1913, and again from 1928 to 1935, he was prof. of the orch. class at the Cons. In 1918 he was elected Debussy’s successor as a member of the Conseil de I’enseignement superieur there; also taught at the Ecole Normale de Musique. Although he was not a prolific composer, Dukas wrote a master-piece in his orch. scherzo L’Apprenti Sorcier; his opera Ariane et Barbe-Bleue is one of the finest French operas in the impressionist style. Among his other notable works are the Sym. in C major and the ballet La Peri. Shortly before his death, he destroyed several MSS of his unfinished compositions.


DRAMATIC Opera : Ariane et Barbe- Bleue (1899–1906; Paris, May 10, 1907). B a 1 1 e t : La Peri (1911–12; Paris, April 22, 1912). ORCH.: 3 overtures: King Lear (1883), Gb’tz von Berlichingen (1884), and Polyeucte (1891); Sym. in C major (1896; Paris, Jan. 3, 1897); L’Apprenti Sorcier, scherzo (Paris, May 18, 1897). OTHER: Villanelle for Horn and Piano (1906); piano music, including a Sonata (1899–1901), Variations, Interlude et Finale (sur un theme de Rameau) (1903), Prelude elegiaque (1908), and La Plainte au loin du faune (1920); Sonnet de Ronsard for Voice (1924). With Saint-Saens, he completed Guiraud’s opera Fredegonde.


G. Samazeuilh, P. D. (Paris, 1913; 2nd ed., 1936); V. d’Indy, Emmanuel Chabrier et P. D. (Paris, 1920); G. Samazeuilh, P. D., musicien franqais (Paris, 1936); G. Favre, P. D.: Sa vie, son oeuvre (Paris, 1948); N. Demuth, P. D. (London, 1949); G. Favre, L’Oeuvre de P. D. (Paris, 1969); idem, ed., Correspondance de P. D. (Paris, 1971); W. Moore, The Significance of Late Nineteenth-Century French Wagnerisme in the Relationship of P. D. and Edouard Dujardin: A Study of Their Correspondence, Essays on Wagner, andD.’s Opera Ariane et Barbe-Bleue (diss., Univ. of Tex., 1986).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Dukas, Paul (b Paris, 1865; d Paris, 1935). Fr. composer. Awarded 2nd Prix de Rome 1888. Early works influenced by Wagner. Scored major success in 1897 with orch. scherzo L'Apprenti Sorcier. Perhaps his finest work is his opera Ariane et Barbe-Bleu (Paris, 1907) based like Debussy's Pelléas on a Maeterlinck play and finding, like Debussy, symbolic and emotional depths in the text which are luminously translated into mus. Also wrote ballet La Péri (1912), and pf. sonata (1901) said to be the first by a major Fr. composer. Prof. of orch., Paris Cons. 1910–13, of comp., 1928–35. Wrote much criticism. Pubd. very little mus. after 1920 and destroyed his unpubd. works before he died. Aided Saint-Saëns in completion of Guiraud's opera Frédégonde, orchestrating first 3 acts. Ed. several Rameau operas. Prin. works:OPERA: Ariane et Barbe-Bleu (1899–1906).BALLET: La Péri (1911–12).ORCH.: ov. Polyeucte (1892); sym. in C (1896); L'Apprenti Sorcier (1897); La Péri, suite.CHAMBER MUSIC: Villanelle (hn. and pf.).PIANO: sonata in E♭ minor (1899–1901); Variations, Interlude et Final (sur un thème de Rameau) (1903); Prélude élégiaque (1908); La Plainte au loin du faune (1920).SONG: Sonnet de Ronsard (1924).

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DUKAS, PAUL (1865–1935), French composer. Born in Paris, Dukas studied at the Conservatory and taught there from 1909 until his death. In French music, his style formed a bridge between the school of César Franck and that of Debussy. He achieved fame in 1897 with his brilliant orchestral scherzo L'Apprenti sorcier ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice," inspired by Goethe), which, it was later suggested, was actually intended as a satire on the fashion of "symphonic poems." The most important of Dukas' works is the opera Ariane et Barbe-Bleue (1907, with text by Maeterlinck), symbolizing the struggle for emancipation from dictatorship. His other works also include a symphony, several overtures, the ballet La Péri, chamber music, and piano works. After 1912, Dukas, who had become increasingly self-critical, gave up composition almost entirely. He devoted himself to teaching at the Conservatory. Before his death he destroyed his unpublished works.


G. Samazeuilh, Un musicien français, Paul Dukas (1913); V. d'Indy, Emmanuel Chabrier et Paul Dukas (1920); G. Favre, Paul Dukas, sa vie, son oeuvre (1948); Riemann-Gurlitt; Baker's Biog Dict; Grove's Dict; mgg.

[Chanan Steinitz]

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Paul Dukas (pōl dükä´), 1865–1935, French composer and critic. He was influenced by both the romanticism of Wagner and the impressionism of Debussy. His compositions are few, the best known being a symphonic poem, The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1897), and an opera, Ariane et Barbe-Bleue (1907).

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Dukas, Paul (1865–1935) French composer. His best-known work, the orchestral scherzo The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1897), shows his skilful orchestration and individual style. He also wrote the opera Ariane et Barbe-Bleue (1907).