Bourgault-Ducoudray, Louis Albert


A French composer, professor, and writer, who, while not widely known, holds a high place in the world of music. He has not produced much original work, but rather, has turned his attention to the study of musical antiquities, and has shown great interest in the folk-songs of many countries. Since 1878 he has lectured on musical history at the Paris Conservatory. He was born at Nantes, and after finishing a classical course and being admitted to the legal profession, took up the study of music at the Paris Conservatory under Ambroise Thomas. In 1862 he won first prize for composition. A student of the music of the past, he founded in Paris, in 1869, an amateur choral society that, under his direction, gave choruses from Palestrina, and Orlando Lasso, Bach cantatas, and other works by the older masters. A sojourn in Greece brought forth, in 1876, the pamphlet Souvenirs d'une mission musicale en Grece et en Orient, and a collection of songs called Trente Melodies populaires de la Grece et de 1'Orient. He made researches in Brittany, and published, with French translations, Trente Melodies populaires de la Basse Bretagne. Among original works of Bourgault-Ducoudray are a choral symphony, a fantasie, a Carnaval d'Athenes, several cantatas, the operas Bretagne and Thamara.