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Albert Dupuis 

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Pirly Zurstrassen 

 Albert DUPUIS (Verviers 1877 - Bruxelles 1967)

ALBERT DUPUISAlbert Dupuis was born on March 1, 1877 in Verviers. From the age of eight he took violin, piano and flute lessons at the Music Conservatoire in the town where he was born. At the age of fifteen, he was made a tutor at the Grand Theater of Verviers and he received his first lessons in harmony from François Duysings, a distinguished professor at the Conservatoire. Albert Dupuis had the honor of being introduced to Vincent d'Indy who was on a visit to Verviers. The latter asked Albert Dupuis to collaborate with him at the Schola Cantorum which he had just founded. Thanks to the patronage of Edmond Bastin, Albert Dupuis became established from 1897 in Paris where he studied composing with d'Indy himself and the organ with Guilmant. After two years of intensive work he returned to Belgium for the purpose of entering the Prize of Rome Contest where he was awarded a first second prize. In 1900, Albert Dupuis left the Schola and returned to Verviers where he married and prepared again for the Prize of Rome. Actually, he entered the contest in 1903 only but was then rewarded with a first grand prize for the "La Chanson d'Halewijn" cantata. In 1905 he accepted the position of conductor at the Theater of Ghent but this task was to take up all of his time and left him very few occasions only for composing. In 1907, the municipal administration of the Town of Verviers entrusted Albert Dupuis with the director's position at the Conservatoire which had become vacant after the departure of Louis Kéfer. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1947. After a particularly long and fruitful career, he retired to live in Brussels where he died on September 19, 1967.

Albert Dupuis was indubitably the most prolific Belgian lyric composer in the first half of the XXth century, both as regards pure quantity with the resounding notice encountered abroad and the dramatic truth of his works. He became also distinguished in the field of composing pure music and he produced, always with the same great talent, a number of trios, quartets, melodies, chorales as well as many other works for a variety of instruments. This composer casts an exceptional figure that would deserve to be known better by the public of the lyric stage and of grand orchestras. Although Albert Dupuis retained obviously, from his period at the Schola Cantorum, a specifically "post-Franck" discipline of writing that was typical for the students of Vincent d'Indy, he succeeded nevertheless, thanks to his openness of mind, in softening these rules in a music where we discover an extremely personal melodic vein tinged with sensitive emotion. None of his works - including the little pieces written almost absent-mindedly or under obligation - lack these characteristic features, such as the numerous pages destined for the contests of the Conservatoire. Each composition by Albert Dupuis is characterized by a unique choice of appropriate themes. We discover in these phrases that express so much, features such as frankness, good humor and simplicity which are present also - although in a more tragic manner - in the pages that the unfortunate Guillaume Lekeu barely had the time to write.

Philippe Bayard (d'après R. Michel)
Translated by Luc Van Loock

















  

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