Paul Dukas (October 1, 1865-May 17, 1935) was a Parisian-born French composer and teacher of classical music.
Paul Abraham Dukas was from a French-Jewish family. He studied under Théodore Dubois and Ernest Guiraud at the Conservatoire de Paris, where he became friends with the composer Claude Debussy. After completing his studies Dukas found work as a music critic and orchestrator; he was unusually gifted in orchestration.
Although Dukas wrote a fair amount of music, he was perfectionistic and, unfortunately, destroyed many of his pieces out of dissatisfaction with them. Only a few of his compositions remain. His first surviving work of note is the energetic Symphony (1896) which belongs to the tradition of Beethoven and César Franck.
The symphony was followed by another orchestral work, L'apprenti sorcier, better known under its English title The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1897), which is based on Goethe's poem 'Der Zauberlehrling'. The Sorcerer's Apprentice was used in the Walt Disney film Fantasia, which accounts for much of its fame. Dukas's rhythmic mastery and vivid orchestration were evident in both works.
For the piano, Dukas wrote two complex and technically demanding large-scale works, a Sonata (1901) and Variations, interlude and finale on a theme of Rameau (1902), again reminiscent of Beethoven and Franck. The opera Ariane et Barbe-Bleue ('Ariadne and Bluebeard'), on which he worked from 1899 to 1907, has often been compared to Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, partly because of musical similarities and partly because both operas are based on libretti by Maurice Maeterlinck. The sumptuous oriental ballet La Péri (1912) was Dukas's last major work.
In the last decades of his life, Dukas became well known as a teacher of composition, with many famous students including Joaquín Rodrigo, Maurice Duruflé, Olivier Messiaen and Jehan Alain. After Dukas died, he joined the scores of other famous people buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Text source : Wikipedia (Hide extended text) ... (Read all)
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