André Girard and The ORTF Chamber Orchestra – Pierre Max Dubois – Ouverture pour les Oiseaux de Lune – ORTF Radio – 1965- Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The Music of Pierre Max Dubois this weekend, as performed by the ORTF Chamber Orchestra led by the venerable André Girard. A performance of Ouverture pour les Oiseaux de Lune, a work composed in 1965 and presumably this is its first performance in a radio studio recording at the ORTF studios in Paris.
Pierre Max Dubois was a student of Darius Milhaud, and though not widely popular, was respected. He brought the ideas of Les Six, of which his instructor was a member, into the mid-1900s. This group called for a fresh artistic perspective on music. The music of Dubois is characteristically light hearted with interesting harmonic and melodic textures.
He was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1955. Most of his works are for woodwinds, especially for saxophone. His Quartet for Saxophones in F premiered in 1962. Another of his works is the ‘Pieces characteristiques en forme de suite’, written for Alto Saxophone with piano accompaniment. Pierre-Max Dubois had his first radio commission as a composer while still at the Paris Conservatoire. A prolific composer, he showed in his music the influence of Prokofiev and affinity with other French composers of his own or a slightly earlier generation.
From 1967 to 1995, he gave analysis and musical culture classes at the C.N.S.M. in Paris. Obviously, he was completely familiar with the various systems of composition. But as a composer, he seemed quite untouched by the language problems which marked that period. His music always displayed the same bite, the same spontaneity, the same skill, the same lack of influence from different research tendencies and the same irony. His titles made fun of everything, even perhaps the man himself : Musique pour un western (a mischievous resumé of all the film formulae of the fifties), a java for orchestra, La grande truanderie, Quintette burlesque… One day, I discovered his recording of Musique ésotérique and thought, “What ? Do our dandy’s fetching sallies conceal deep thoughts ?”
Apparently there are no commercial recordings of this work – this may be the only one. So enjoy it.