The brilliant musician Théodore Dubois (1837-1924) was an exceptionally gifted student at the Conservatoire de Paris, winning many awards, particularly in piano and composition, including his first Grand Prix de Rome in 1861. On his return to France, he steadily progressed: he taught harmony at the Conservatoire from 1871 and ten years later became head of composition, before his appointment as director in 1896, a position he held until his retirement in 1905.
He combined these duties with various music-related positions in the Church, notably as organist of La Madeleine (1877-1896). He received several official honours and became a member of the Institut in 1894. Works as varied as 'Ouverture de Frithiof', the original 'Dixtuor' for double quintet or the highly romantic 'Concerto pour piano' prove that, while respecting his principles of clarity and tradition, Dubois was sensitive to modern developments. His inspiration was eclectic and his work touches on all genres, appealing to Franck and Schumann, as much as Brahms and Saint-Saëns.
The Arts Desk
25th August 2012
“Soloist Vanessa Wagner plays an 1874 Érard - the lighter, clearer sound perfectly foiled by Les Siècles; the concerto’s manic, chattering close sounding so, so French. Delicious...Excellent performances which leave you curious to hear more by Dubois.”
14th June 2012
“None of it is great music, but it's pleasant enough. Roth conducts sympathetically and Vanessa Wagner is a suitably skittish soloist in Dubois's Second Piano Concerto”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.