Dukas, Paul


Well-known composer of the modern French School, who was born in Paris and became a pupil at the Conservatory in 1882, and who has won much praise as a symphonist, and more recently as an operatic composer. He completed two overtures, Lear and Goetz von Berlichingen, before he obtained the second Prize of Rome with his cantata, Velleda. He has written beside these an overture; Polyeucte, a symphony; a symphonic poem; a sonata for the piano; and variations for the piano; beside a lyric drama; an opera, and several songs and choruses. The symphonic poem, L'Apprenti Sorcier, was given at the London Musical Festival in 1899, and through it Dukas is best known to Americans. It is called an orchestral humoresque, and had its first American performance, January, 1899, in Chicago, under the baton of Theodore Thomas. The libretto was written by the well-known writer, Maurice Maeterlinck  The latest work of Dukas is Ariane et Barbe Bleue, with the libretto by Maeterlinck, and dealing with the old story of Bluebeard. It was sung for the first time at the Opera Comique, Paris, in 1907, and critics declared after the production that, while it is not a master work, it nevertheless is a highly interesting example of the modern French School of writing.