Keurvel studied piano and violin at the Flemish School of Music in Antwerp and was Peter Benoit's student for harmony, counterpoint, and composition. He was mainly active as conductor and co-founded the Flemish Opera (1893). He worked at the Royal Flemish Conservatory and established the Peter Benoit-Fonds in 1902. His compositions range from chamber music to operas, while including songs and music for the violin.
Art Songs (Non-Exhaustive List):
Du Bois studied at the Brussels Conservatory and won the Belgian Prix de Rome in 1885 with the cantata Au bois des elfes. He worked mainly as a conductor and was elected director of the Brussels Conservatory in 1912, where he stayed until his retirement in 1925. Du Bois composed only 13 songs and his music shows the influence of Wagner.
Art Songs (Non-Exhaustive List):Chansons de Flandre (Camille Lemonnier) published in Brussels: Cyrille Kerkhofs, 1911
Soir religieux (Emil van Arenbergh) published by edition musicale: L'art Belge: Brussels
- Hélas! j'ai perdu pour jamais
- Je veux étouffer mes douleurs
- Sa voix étais si fraîche
- Oh! les premiers aveux
- Heure supreme, heure adorée!
- Reliques du passé, soleil de ma jeunesse
The son of Alphonse Samuel, Samuel-Holeman studied piano and theory with his father at the conservatory of Ghent, after having had an education in philosophy and literature. He lived the most part of his life in France as a freelance musician, conductor and pianist. He was an avant-garde composer and as early as 1883 he was composing with whole tone scales. In 1896 he published a study on them. Later he became interested in overtone series (Mutation en diaphonie moderne - turning points in modern diafonie) and atonality. His mostly vocal compositions are often called austere and can be seen as a reaction against the late romantic orchestral music of the time. He is sometimes named in a line with Debussy and Satie. His most successful work was ?La jeune fille à la fenêtre? (Camille Lemonnier) produced at the Paris opera in 1914. He composed numerous songs.
Art Songs (Non-Exhaustive List):
- Les cloches en la nuit
August de Boeck's main instrument was the organ like his father. He entered the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels in 1880, where one year later he obtained an organ prize (teacher Alphonse Mailly). His musical career was as an organist at different Belgian churches and as musical educator. In 1909 De Boeck was appointed teacher of harmony at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Music in Antwerp, succeeding his teacher and friend Paul Gilson in the position. In 1920 he took on the same function at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels. To this, he added the position of director of the Municipal Conservatory in Mechelen in 1921. De Boeck retired in 1930. He started with composing orchestral works, but vocal music takes up the bigger part in his creations. Opera, cantatas, and songs are dominant. The success of a new opera house in Antwerp producing Flemish operas (the Flemish Opera) surely encouraged composers in the area to write for the genre. Four of de Boeck's operas were premiered there: Théroigne de Méricourt (1901), Winternachtsdroom (1902), Rijndwergen (Rhine Dwarfs, 1906), and Reinaert de Vos (1909). His late opera La Route d'Emeraude (1921) was in French and premiered at the 'Grand Théâtre' at Ghent. Although writing large works, de Boeck was at his best in short pieces, where his spontaneity and humor could shine. His Songs and piano pieces show his real talent. Musical influences can be traced back to Wagner, the Russian national school - especially Rimsky-Korsakov, and impressionism. De Boeck composed approximately 100 songs on French and Dutch texts.
Art Songs (Non-Exhaustive List):Bruiloftslied (Jan Lindemans) published by De Ring edition, 1925
Goede nacht (Conscience) 1914
- Le don
In Flanders Fields volume 40: Nina Stemme (soprano) and Jozef De Beenhouwer (piano). Seven French Songs (Jeanne Cuisinier) Phaedra
Gilson studied three years at the Brussels Conservatory (teacher: Gevaert) but he is considered to be mostly self-taught. Precociously talented, he started to compose at the age of 16. His main musical influences were "The Five" and Wagner. He won the Prix de Rome in 1889 with his cantata Sinaï. His travels then took him to Bayreuth, Paris, and Italy. His biggest acclaim came with La mer (syphonic sketches 1892). In 1899 he was appointed professor of harmony at the Conservatories of Brussels and a few years later also in Antwerp. He gave up these two positions when he became inspector of music education in 1909. Gilson would continue to teach composition privately and he would become the most influential teacher in Belgium for the new generation of composers. Among his many pupils, a group formed in 1925 with the name the "Synthétistes." Gilson and his students founded the La Revue Musicale Belge in the same year. Often in his lifetime Gilson was caught between the fronts of the Flemish and Walloon movements. He was a master of the orchestration and particularly liked the brass section. He used folk themes and classical forms in his compositions and finished some 65 songs. His companion in life was the singer Celina Stoops.
Art Songs (Non-Exhaustive List):Het droevig wiegelied van de verlatene (Leonce Th. C. du Catillon) published by Arthur Wilford: Bruxelles
Prinses Zonneschijn, 1901
- Le départ (chanson hongroise) (Hasselt)
- La brume du soir (Hasselt)
- Memnon (Hasselt)
- Elaine (Levis)
O kom met mij in den lentenacht (Pol De Mont) Brussels: Georges Oertel, 1905
- Quand c'est dimanche
- Lui qui ne sait pas chanter un petit air
- Petite Marlène
- Petite, petit Mariette
Chat (Vossaert) ? Cinquantenaire de la foundation Cerlcle Artistique et Litteraire de Bruxelles, 1897
- Ik wandelde Treurig (E. Hiel)
- Aan Schelde en Dender (Hiel)
Trois poèmes pour baryton ou mezzo soprano (Jean Rivier) published in Paris: Salabert, cop. 1958
- Nell (1900)
- La fille aux cheveux de lin (1918)
- La chanson du Rouet (1816)
- Passage d'une nurse
- La sirène de Scheveningue
- La fable du village
An orphan from an early age, Pâque studied at the Liège Conservatory, where he stayed until 1889 as a teacher. He traveled a lot during his life. He researched Bulgarian folksong in Sofia, taught piano and composition at the conservatories in Athens (1900?02) and Lisbon (1906-1909). Worked in Germany and Geneva. From 1914 Pâque lived in Paris and became organist of St Louis d?Antin eventually taking on French nationality. His early compositions were influenced by Borodin and Cui, he was a friend of Busoni and worked simultaneously with Schoenberg on his own atonality (mode chromatique moderne) and even proposed to abandon regular time signature and musical development (adjonction constante). During his final years, Pâque worked on writing down his revolutionary compositional ideas on which he had been working for over 40 years. His earliest writing was finished in 1910 Esthétique musicale d'un musicien but not published until 1928 under the title "Essai sur la mélodie." Unfortunately, it is difficult to study and perform Pâque's compositions, because much of it has not been published. His composed approximately 50 songs.
Art Songs (Non-Exhaustive List):3 Mélodies, op. 13
L'heure, op. 54, nr. 1 (Richard Ledent): Bruxelles
- Nr. 5 Errer! Rêver! Aimer!
- Bébé va venir!
- Bébé est venu!
- Ce que fait bébé
- Bébé fait dodo!
In the new Grove online article about Lodewijk Mortelmans one can read the following concerning his song output: His songs are the most important expression of his development and are of international stature. They are characterized by a profound union between text and music, refined naturalism, dramatic expression and exquisitely phrased melodies arranged in fluid modal harmonies." Mortelmans' father was a printer, and his elder brother, Frans, a painter. He studied music at the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp, where some of his teachers were Peter Benoit, Jan Blockx, and Arthur Greef. He won the Belgian Prix de Rome in 1893. Mortelmans taught counterpoint and fugue at the Royal Flemish Conservatory starting from 1904. In 1924 he became its director. His favorite poet was the priest Guido Gezelle and his opera De Kinderen van Zee (The Children of the Sea) was first produced in 1920 at the Flemish Opera.
Art Songs (Non-Exhaustive List):
In Flanders Fields volume 19: Songs and piano music Lodewijk Mortelmans. Werner van Mechelen (bass-bariton) and Jozef De Beenhouwer (piano). Phaedra
Guillaume Lekeu studied with César Franck and Vincent D'Indy in Paris and admired the music of Beethoven and Wagner, but never fell into the trap of copying their styles. Lekeu's music is very rich and personal. He obtained in 1891 a second Prix de Rome for his cantata Andromède. His main publisher was E Baudoux & Cie (Salabert today). Lekeu died at the age of 24 and left us 13 songs, of which only 8 are performable and really worth being so.
Art Songs (Non-Exhaustive List):La fenêtre de la maison paternelle (Lamartine), 1887
Les deux bonnes soeurs (Baudelaire), 1887 - lost
- Sur une tombe