Chausson, Ernest


He was born in Paris and was trained by his parents for the law, but when twenty-five years old turned to music and studied at the Paris Conservatory with Massenet, then for two years with Cesar Franck. He might have become one of France's greatest composers had he lived, but his career was brought to an end by a bicycle accident on his estate at Limay. He was thrown from the machine against a stone wall, being killed almost instantly. Chausson left a large number of works, including a symphony; a symphonic poem, Viviane; the orchestral pictures, Solitude In the Wood; a poeme for violin and orchestra; several pieces of chamber-music; a number of choruses and several songs His best work in opera was Le Roi Arthus, in three acts, written to a libretto of his own, and which was produced at the Theatre de la Monnaie, in Brussels in 1903. He also wrote a three-act lyrical drama, Helene; La Legende de Sainte Cecile, a drama for soprano and female chorus; the incidental music for Shakespeare's  The Tempest; and much church music.