Troubador Visions of Eternity

Released: 28/06/2017

ISBN: 9781788037334

Format: Hardback

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Visions of Eternity

The Choral Works and Operas of Widor, Vierne and Tournemire

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Visions of Eternity is the companion volume to Prophets without Honour (Matador, 2011) which explored the forgotten mélodies of Charles-Marie Widor, Louis Vierne and Charles Tournemire. The present work continues that study but with regard to the largely unknown choral works and operas by these same composers: it also expands upon the mores of Parisian Musical society, 1870-1939, and discusses in greater detail than before the prevalent influences and restrictions, which might have had a bearing on a young composer.

Widor’s printed and unpublished works are discussed, as are those of his pupil Louis Vierne alongside a more detailed, and possibly provocative, discussion of the latter’s life and loves, and their relevance to that composer’s compositions. His completely unknown ‘cantate lyrique’ Praxinoë is also revealed.

The greater part of Visions of Eternity is given over to a discussion of the influences that affected another of Widor’s pupils, Charles Tournemire, in both temporal and theological terms. His individual musical language, discussing both his use of traditional Latin and Indian chants, quixotic character and amours are also investigated.

This is a book of great musical relevance, for it deals with composers and issues which greatly influenced later French musicians, particularly Maurice Duruflé, Jean Yves Daniel-Lesur, Jean Langlais and Olivier Messiaen: these, in turn, passed their knowledge to more contemporary composers.

Whilst this book has been researched in great depth, its content is delivered with a light, occasionally humorous touch. This is not a dry, academic work, but one for both the cognoscenti and enthusiast alike.

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Michael Bundy

Michael R. Bundy is a music graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge. As a singer he has worked extensively with many of the world’s great orchestras and conductors, but, as a recitalist, specialises in the Mélodie. The late-nineteenth and early twentieth century French repertoire, be it vocal, chamber, operatic or orchestral has always been a fascination, and this has resulted in a desire to explore the neglected areas of all these genres.

In addition to articles, he has given lectures and lecture-recitals on the lives and mélodies of Widor, Vierne and Tournemire, in addition to more conventional recitals, at a variety of venues and festivals. A series of CD recordings of this material is also available on the Naxos label.

He is currently researching the unknown operas and oratorios by these same three composers.

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