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Demise of a French composer

We are receiving reports of the death of Jean-Michel Damase, one of the most agreeable French composers, at the age of 85.

Born in Bordeaux on 27 January 1928, Jean-Michel Damase considered himself a loyalist to the traditions of Fauré, Debussy and Ravel, writing tonal music in defiance of the fashions of his time. He won the Prix de Rome in 1947 and, as a pianist, made the first complete recording of Fauré’s nocturnes and barcarolles.

He wrote seven operas and was always being played. Here’s why:


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  1. NIgel Curtis says:

    I remember some article where Napoleon Boulez loftily denounced Damase and a couple of other French composers of that generation. I’ve always found it very irritating that PB felt he had to asassinate with the stroke of a pen.

  2. Louis Blois says:

    Ahh, the Silk Rhapsody, the Symphony, the chamber music, the piano music…. all of it so congenially flowing and elegantly transporting. Thank you for creating such a good-natured sanctuary for the soul, Monsieur Damase, you shall be missed!

  3. Mark Stratford says:

    >>Napoleon Boulez loftily denounced Damase >>

    Yes, I’m sure he did. NL, in the following article, wrote

    “Stravinsky, all his life, opened doors and minds. Boulez has made it his mission to narrow musical choices.

  4. Michael Antrobus - Oslo/Norway. says:

    Ha ha ha. I’ve not heard the “Napoleon Boulez” characterization before now, but a Scottish principal oboist with the BBCSO called him “Mr Bootlace”. Mæstro Boulez’ pen was poisoness during his earlier career.

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