Classical Music Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I introduce to you the french composer Pierre Vellones.



Here is a quick biography:

Pierre Rousseau-Vellones grew up in a home cultivating arts and practicing music in family. Like his cousin Scellier de Gisors (architect, prix de Rome), he has a flair for drawing. When his parents brought him to the Opéra in a performance of Tannhäuser, it is the reveal. He is then a student of the Collège Stanislas.

His first works date from 1903: «I became convinced that I must avoid at all costs amateurism and dilettantism.» Also he studies counterpoint, fugue and composition with Jean-Hugues Louvier, friend of Widor.

Complying with his father's example, he carries on his medicine formation to completion and practice this carriere his entire life. «For me, medicine is a stopgap.» Talented watercolorist, he visualizes his inspirations for better musically transcribed by taking care never to offend the listeners.

Assigned to the 117th Infantry Regiment of the line in 1914, he served as a doctor assistant and know the harsh conditions of the front. Through the village of Velosnes (Meuse), he is conquered by the absolute poetry and adopts his composer's pseudonym. The music he blesses every day allows him to keep faith in a time of doubts and reorientation. Florent Schmitt, whom he takes advice, wisely encourages him to persevere.

But destiny is at the rendezvous. Diagnosed in 1926 by his close friend Lucien de Gennes, Kahler's disease (multiple myeloma) condemns him in the short terme. Bedridden, he wrote articles on the art of Tibet and a novel, Le Pré aux loups. «It was almost two years of retreat and concentration when I knew the price of conjugal love, patience kindness, and also the price of things of the spirit».

X-rays retard the progression of evil. Pierre Rousseau abandoned general medicine for electrotherapy practiced at home. Among his clients, he heals the Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma, Gabriel Pierné, Maurice Paléologue, Prince Louis II of Monaco, Paul Valéry...

His intellectual curiosity let him approach every art and every genre. He composes instrumental music and melodies on poems by Verlaine, Mallarmé, Samain, Rimbaud, Fort and Chansons d'amour de la vieille Chine.

«I believe in the absolute necessity to rejuvenate the orchestra for works to come, and this mainly by three factors: saxophone, drums, Martenot waves».

Soon, he bacomes fascinated with the research of Aleksandr Mossolov, John Cage, for non-Western folklore and dreams of renovating music writing by providing incredible sounds. The first work of his type is the Cantique des Cantiques (1925) from Jean Lahore (aka Dr. Henry Cazalis) that combines a flute and a bassoon to a vocal trio.

«Jazz (...) was a revelation to me as violent as Tannhäuser when I wore sailors's collars». Certainly, d'Indy, Debussy, Soler-Casabon had used saxophone in the classical orchestra, but he truly explores and exploits its riches. From 1929, he uses two saxophones with four harps and a bass to accompany his five Poems of Mallarmé and composes the Florian's Fables for tenorand symphonic jazz. After that follows Cavaliers Andalous (1930), Rastelli (1937), which is a tribute to the famous juggler who died in 1931, Prélude et Rondo français (1937), Rapsodie (1937).

He is also the first french composer (and worldwide) to use Martenot waves: his Fantaisie date of 1930. The extraordinary Vitamine and the gypsy waltz Split use simulaneously saxophone quartet and waves in 1935.

Caring family man, he is interested in pedagogy and musical awareness of children with the piano collection Au jardin des bêtes sauvages (1929), adopted by the Marguerite Long's school, and in which he combines the humor of his words to the charm of his notes. Loup, petit frère is a Scout song of 1931. Une aventure de Babar, for the Théâtre de l'Oncle Sébastien in 1938, mimics the different animal sounds with the help of the Martenot waves.

If he has never triumphed at the scene (his ballets Grenade assiégée and Au Pays du Tendre as his operettas Leurs petites majestés and Médecin de mon coeur has never been shown), he has his share in the success of several documentaries and more than fifteen films (Casanova with Saturnin Fabre, La Reine de Biarritz with Marguerite Moreno, Poursuites blanches by Marcel Ichac with Maurice Baquet, etc...).

His last years mark the peak of his artistic career. «He has proven mind and profession qualities that are not so common» (André George). Inexhaustible creator, orchestrator with prodigious ficilities, innovative, respectful of tradition inherited by Fauré and Ravel, he leaves more than a hundred ardent and sincere works.

More than Spain which impregnate most of his works, he is attracted like all his generation by the inaccessible and magical Orient. Commissioned for the International Exhibition of 1937, his «Fête Fantatique», fairyland of light and water, employs lots of exotic instruments made available by the Museum of Ethnography: Javanese sarong, Chinese cymbal, African drums, Cameroonian seeds rattle, etc.. to which he adds three Martenot.

The same year, he illustrates the film by Marcel Ichac Karakoram, on the French expedition in the Himalayas - for the first time in cinema - a set of seven Martenot Waves, piano and traditional instruments of percussion. Working to forget his pain, the profusion of ideas that springs from his imagination never runs dry. The action of his great ballet «Le Palais d'Amitabha (1938) which he conceives the argument, the music, sets and costumes, takes place in Tibet, a country he has studied for ten years. Chief Philippe Gaubert and choreographer Serge Lifar think about the greater good but - while accepted in the Reading Committee of the Opera - the ballet has not yet emerged...

Overworked, anemic, Pierre declines gradually, surrounded by the love of his people, and waives any occupation in 1939. On July 17, writes Gustave Samazeuilh, he «disappears without realizing its full potential. But his works are there to affirm the highest quality of its merits and perpetuate the memory of a elit.»
This born musiciann writer, painter and physician synthesizes the spirit of the inter-war period, where tradition and innovation coexisted harmoniously. Stravinsky as well as Ravel held him in high esteem. Gabriel Pierné, Albert Wolff, Eugène Bigot, Pedro de Freitas-Branco directed his works. Lily Laskine, Maxence Larrieu, Marcel Mule, Claire Croiza, Jeanne Bathori, Pierre Bernac, Francic Poulenc defended him.


You can find some of his works here on my Youtube chanel: http://www.youtube.com/user/looy64?feature=mhee

You can like his Page on Facebook with many pictures of him: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pierre-Vellones/211408532264777

Vellones composing



Vellones composing with his piano



Vellones and Maurice Ravel



Vellones and Maurice Martenot



Thank you very much for your interest and sorry for my bad english :)
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
14,072 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I improved the text:



Pierre Vellones (a.k.a. Pierre Rousseau) is a French painter and composer born in Paris the 29th march 1889 and dead in Paris the 17th of July 1939.


Biography

Pierre Rousseau grew up in an environment where he cultivated arts skills and practiced music within his family. As his cousin Scellier de Gisors (architect, prix de Rome), he had a unique drawing flair. One night, his parents brought him to the Opéra for a performance of Tannhäuser. It appeared to him as a revelation. He studied at the Collège Stanislas in Paris.

In 1903, he started his first works: «I became convinced that I should avoid amateurism and dilettantism at any price.» He also studied counterpoint, fugue and composition with the help of Jean-Hugues Louvier, friend of Widor (French organist).

In order to follow his father path, he passed a medical school diploma and practiced this profession his entire life. «For me, medicine is a stopgap.» Talented watercolorist, he visualized his inspirations in order to transcribe them into music, paying attention never offend the audience.

Assigned to the 117th Infantry Regiment in 1914, he served as a doctor assistant and experienced the frightening conditions of the front line. He went through the village of Velosnes (Meuse) and was conquered by the absolute poetry of the place and adopted his composer’s pseudonym afterwards. The music he blessed every day allowed him to keep faith during a time of absolute darkness, doubts and reorientation. His mentor, Florent Schmitt, wisely encourages him to keep a stiff upper lip.

However, destiny is no matter of chance. He was diagnosed a Kahler’s disease (multiple myeloma) in 1926 by his close friend Lucien de Gennes which sentenced him for a short period of time. He was bedridden after that and wrote articles on the art environment in Tibet and a novel, Le Pré aux loups. «During almost two years of retirement and focusing, I learned the price of love, kindness patience, and also the price of spiritual matters».

X-rays allowed him to live longer and slowed down the evil. Pierre Rousseau gave up General Medicine and began to practice Electrotherapy at home. Among his clients, he treated the Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma, Gabriel Pierné, Maurice Paléologue, Prince Louis II of Monaco, and Paul Valéry, etc.

His appetite for intellectual matters allowed him to be confronted to every kind of art. He composed instrumental music and songs over poems written by Verlaine, Mallarmé, Samain, Rimbaud, Fort as well as Chansons d’amour de la vieille Chine.

«I am convinced that it is an absolute necessity to modernize the orchestra organization for the works to come, by introducing three components: saxophone, drums and Ones Martenot».

He became quickly fascinated by the works of Aleksandr Mossolov, John Cage and for eastern folklores and dreamt about reforming music writing by providing tremendous tones. His first work of this type is the Cantique des Cantiques (1925) adapted from Jean Lahore (a.k.a. Dr. Henry Cazalis) that added a flute and a bassoon to a vocal trio.

«Jazz (...) came to me as a revelation as violent as Tannhäuser when I used to wear sailor collars». It is obvious to admit that d’Indy, Debussy, Soler-Casabon had already used saxophone in the classical orchestra, but Pierre Vellones is the only one to truly explore and exploit its resources. From 1929, he made use of two saxophones with four harps and one string bass to illustrate his five Poems of Mallarmé and composed the Fables de Florian for saxophones quartet. Came along Cavaliers Andalous (1930), Rastelli (1937), which is a tribute for the famous juggler died in 1931, Prélude et Rondo français (1937) and Rapsodie (1937).

He is also the first French composer (the second worldwide) to add Ondes Martenot to his compositions: Fantaisie (1930). In 1935, the extraordinary Vitamine and the gypsy waltz, Split, make use of both simultaneously saxophone quartet and Ondes Martenot.

Caring father and husband, he took an intense interest for pedagogy and children musical awakening with the piano collection Au jardin des bêtes sauvages (1929), adopted by the Marguerite Long school of music, and in which he combined his lyrics humor to the beauty of his notes. Loup, petit frère is a scouting song of 1931. Une aventure de Babar, composed for the Théâtre de l’Oncle Sébastien in 1938, uses the Ondes Martenot in order to imitate the various animal sounds.

If he has never knew the success with theatre (his ballets Grenade assiégée and Au Pays du Tendre as well as his operettas Leurs petites majestés and Médecin de mon coeur have never been performed), he took his piece of the pie with the success of several documentary movies and more than fifteen movies (Casanova with Saturnin Fabre, La Reine de Biarritz with Marguerite Moreno, Poursuites blanches by Marcel Ichac with Maurice Baquet, etc.).

His last years point out the peak of his artistic career. «He has proven exceptional intellectual and professional qualities» (André George). Inexhaustible creator, orchestrator with prodigious facilities, respectful pioneer of traditions acquired by Fauré and Ravel, he leaves more than a hundred passionate and genuine works.

Even more than Spain, which inspired most of his works, he was attracted like his generation by the inaccessible and magical Orient. Ordered for the International Exhibition of 1937, his «Fête Fantastique», fairyland of light and water, employed lots of exotic instruments made available by the Museum of Ethnography: Javanese sarong, Chinese cymbal, African drums, Cameroonian seeds rattle, etc. to which he added three Martenot.
The same year, he composed the soundtrack of the Marcel Ichac movie Karakoram, a movie about the French expedition in the Himalayas - for the first time in theatres - a set of seven Ondes Martenot, piano and traditional drums instruments. In order to forget his pain, he never stopped to develop the ideas that came from his imagination. The action of his great ballet “Le Paradis d’Amitabha” (1938), which he conceived the story, the music, the sets and the costumes, takes place in Tibet, a country he has studied for ten years. Chief Philippe Gaubert and choreographer Serge Lifar appreciated it but – even if the Reading Committee of the Opera accepted it - the ballet wasn’t released.
Overworked, anemic, Pierre’s health declines progressively, surrounded by the love of his entourage, and gave up any work in 1939. On July the 17th, as Gustave Samazeuilh wrote it, he «disappears without having exploited his potential at its full extent. But his works are there to attest the high quality of its merits and to perpetuate the memory of an elite being.»
This born-musician writer, painter and doctor synthesize the spirit of the inter-war period, where tradition and innovation harmoniously coexisted. Stravinsky as well as Ravel held him in high esteem. Gabriel Pierné, Albert Wolff, Eugène Bigot, Pedro de Freitas-Branco directed his works. Lily Laskine, Maxence Larrieu, Marcel Mule, Claire Croiza, Jeanne Bathori, Pierre Bernac, Francic Poulenc defended him when he was criticized.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
Hi - always on the lookout for 'new' composers to try, so had a look at his 'Ballade on YT. Entirely pleasant listening - personally I have to express a preference for orchestral/choral music, so there's nothing really there for me.
Nice to try, though !
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top