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Mark Morris’s Guide to Twentieth Century Composers

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As a musical country, Belgium has been dominated by its neighbours, Germany and France, and particularly the latter: for two centuries Belgium composers have studied and worked in Paris. One aspect of that connection has been the tradition of organ music and composition, and Belgium's best known composer, César Franck (1822-1890), exemplified both traditions, spending almost his entire adult life in France and becoming a famous organist and professor of the organ at the Paris Conservatoire. Another Belgium tradition has been of virtuoso performers, notably of the violin, and the most famous of these in the 19th century was Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-1881), composer of well-known display concertos as well as a soloist. An indigenous and quite prolific late 19th-century opera tradition arose, represented by such composers as François Gevaert (1828-1908), now best remembered for his interest in old music, and Fernand Le Borne (1862-1929).

The tradition of performer-composer was taken into the 20th century by one of the outstanding violinists of any age, Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931), and his brother the pianist, conductor and composer Théo Ysaÿe (1865-1918). Eugène Ysaÿe's only opera was in the Walloon dialect, reflecting the nationalistic interests of the period; the chief exponents of Flemish nationalism, building on the lead of Peter Benoit (1834-1901), were Jan Blockx (1851-1912) who concentrated on operas and vocal music in the Flemish language, and Flor Alpaerts (1876-1954).

The major Belgium composer of the first part of the 20th century was Joseph Jongen (1873-1953), who worked initially in the idiom of his teacher Franck, absorbed developing trends throughout his life, including French Impressionism and suggestions of atonality; his brother Léon Jongen (1884-1969) was also a composer and pianist. Paul Gilson (1865-1942) was influenced by the Russian nationalists, and invoked some of their rich orchestral colour, notably in his best known orchestral work, La Mer (1892); he became a prominent teacher who numbered many of the next generation of Belgian composers among his pupils. Jean Absil (1893-1974) developed an atonal and polytonal style, initially in traditional forms, including three symphonies, and then using folk music, especially Bulgarian and Rumanian influences; among his large output is a huge radio opera, Peter Breughel the Elder (1950). Also prominent were a group of composers who formed the group `Synthétiste' in the 1920s, modelled on the French `Les Six', and including Marcel Poot (born 1901). The tradition of organ and church music was continued by Flor Peeters (born 1903).

The major figure of the second half of the century has been Henri Pousseur (born 1929), who was an important figure in the avant-garde movement, as, in the early 1950s, was Karl Goeyvaerts (born 1923), who was one of the earliest composers to see the possibilities, following Webern, of serialism (`total serialism'), notably in his Sonata for Two Pianos (1951). Their lead has been followed by Philippe Boesmans (born 1936), who with Pousseur established the Musical Research Centre of Wallonie in 1971, and Pierre Bartholomée (born 1937), director of the ensemble `Musiques Nouvelles', who has been interested in micro-tones and whose unusual Tombeau de Marin Marais, for members of the ensemble using baroque instruments, divides the octave in 21 equal parts.

Belgian Music Information Centre:

Centre Belge de Documentation Musicale

Rue d'Arlon 75-77

B-1040 Bruxelles


tel: +32 02 2309437








born 17th May 1936 at Tongeren


Boesmans is an interesting and largely self-taught composer who deserves to be better known outside Belgium. The foundation of his idiom is post-Webern serialism, evident in his piano music (Étude I for piano, 1963, Sonance I for two pianos, 1964, and Sonance II for three pianos, 1967), but he developed a style of loose serialism in which the often lyrical linear flow is contrasted with, and sometimes interrupted by, vertical blocks of ideas.

The atmospheric, dreamy qualities of this style are exemplified in Conversations (1980) for orchestra, that uses repetitive rhythmic and melodic patterns, with small intervals, set against tone-clusters in a variation form. The effect is of two related series of events happening at a different pace: small detailed points of pattern and event, often from a single instrument, against the larger-hewn blocks of a slowly developing backdrop, in a kind of serial Impressionism. The Violin Concerto (1979) is an exceptionally fine work, in part because of the technique of its construction. The feel of different simultaneous layers is present, the orchestra often providing a back-projection of sound-in-depth against the isolated solo part, continuity being maintained by the transformation of material in the orchestra that had been initiated by the soloist, a technique used in other Boesmans concertante works (such as Eléments-Extensions (1976) for piano and chamber orchestra). The transformation from the focus on almost chamber-like interaction to the sudden opening out of the sound-scape can be rapid, as in an unusual passage in the violin concerto where the soloist has agitated repeated patterns intertwining with similar patterns of solo strings in the orchestra in an almost obsessive effect: gradually the sound-scape enlarges as a background layer comes into focus and percussive interjections add to the tension. As the entire work seems to grow in scale the solo part, almost unnoticed, has converted the solo material into a lyrical line. Boesmans also uses a technique of what he calls `harmonic travels', in which a basic 12-tone row is played several times, becoming enlarged until it takes on chromatic and then diatonic hues. The solo virtuosity was inspired by the Liège violin tradition of Vieuxtemps and Ysaÿe, from rapid passage work to a lyricism requiring richness of tone, and there are also humorous touches (which Boesmans has called `trompe l'oreille', or misleading the hearing), as in the sense of play sometimes observable in the solo part, or in an on-stage trumpet muddling up with an off-stage trumpet. With its ability to move swiftly into different focuses, this violin concerto is an impressive expressive work, its main moods being nervous agitation and lyricism, with the orchestra, when not infected with that disquiet, acting as an arbitrator for the solo line to move from one to the other, with tranquillity reached in the final pages.

The opera La passion de Gilles (1983) is a dark story of perversion, malice, and child abuse, set in the 15th century, acting as a commentary on the present day. Its colours are dark, intense, and sparse, in keeping with the subject; the orchestra is often used in distinct colour groups or highlighting single instruments, using a wide range of expressive effects and harmonic milieu ranging from the near tonal to tone-clusters. Boesmans's sense of more than one focus is here largely divided between the orchestra and the vocal lines (rather than within the orchestra itself). The former (at points joined by a distant children's choir) acts as a continual commentator, almost another protagonist, and the vocal lines emerge as foreground against this backdrop, with the French tradition of following the lyrical flow of speech that looks back to Ravel and beyond. The orchestral writing is often tortured, interjectory, a sense of the vertical against the horizontal vocal lines, and the overall effect is powerful and harrowing, the dreaming of earlier works turned into nightmare, if without the immediate impact of such works as the Violin Concerto.

His more recent works include the fine Trakl-Lieder (1986-1987, revised 1989) for soprano and orchestra, setting seven Trakl poems of darker, autumnal emotions suffused with nature imagery. The song-cycle is in the tradition of Mahler and Berg, using a large orchestra, with off-stage effects that continue Boesman's mastery of layered instrumental sounds. The passionate vocal lines are set against a wide range of orchestral colours and tones; at times, Boesmans seems to counter the surface mood of a poem until one realizes that he has penetrated a deeper layer. The opening poem is repeated at the end as an unusual cyclical device. Very different in feel are the two-movement String Quartet (1989, revised 1990) and Surfing (1990) for viola and instrumental ensemble, both of which use extra-musical sources (in the case of the string-quartet, driving) as the inspiration for the structure, and which have a nervous, edgy energy.

Boesmans has been a producer for Belgian Radio, and collaborated with Henri Pousseur in founding the Musical Research Centre of Wallonie in 1971.


works include:

- piano concerto; violin concerto; Corrélations for clarinet and 2 ensembles; Doublures for harp, piano, percussion and 4 ensembles; Eléments-Extensions for piano and small orch.; Explosives for harp and ensemble; Multiples for 2 pianos and orch.; Ring for electric organ and ensemble; Surfing for viola and orch.

- Conversations, Intervalles I and II and Verticles for orch.; Impromptu for 23 instruments

- Intrusions for guitar; string quartet; Sur mi for 2 pianos, electric organ and percussion; La résurrection alterée for wind quintet

- Cadenza, Étude I for piano; Fanfare I for 2 pianos, one player; Sonance I for 2 pianos; Sonance II for 3 pianos

- Fanfare II and Ricercar sconvolto for organ

- Intervalles III for mezzo-soprano and orch.; Trakl-Lieder for soprano and orch.; Upon la mi for soprano, horn, ensemble and electronics;

- music theatre Attitudes for singer, actors, two pianos, synthesizer and percussion; opera La passion de Gilles


recommended works:

Conversations (1980) for orchestra

opera La passion de Gilles (1983)

Violin Concerto (1979)


JONGEN Joseph Marie Alphonse Nicholas

born 14th December 1873 at Liège

died 12th July 1953 at Sart-lez-Spa


The best known Belgian composer of his time, Joseph Jongen is not to be confused with his brother Léon (1884-1969), also a composer and also a winner of the Prix de Rome; Joseph became known in England when he lived there during the First World War, founding his own piano quartet. A self-critical composer, he withdraw 104 of his 241 of his works towards the end of his life. Initially influenced by César Franck and then the German post-romantics, his music reflects his awareness of contemporary trends, eventually absorbing the French Impressionists and adding touches of atonality, with the continuity of a happy lyricism.

Although perhaps most at home in chamber works, notably the hazy beauty of the String Quartet No.2 op.50 (1916) and the polyphony of the Rhapsody for piano and wind quintet op.70 (1922), influenced by Impressionism, his music is now probably more likely to be encountered in organ recitals. A child prodigy, he showed an early aptitude for organ playing, and especially the French art of organ improvisation, and his own organ music, while not extensive, is gratifying both to play and hear, the best known probably being the menuet-scherzo Chant de Mai op.53 (1917). Two of his orchestral pieces may occasionally be heard, the popular Fantaisie sur deux noëls populaires wallons op.24 (1902) for orchestra, based on two Walloon Christmas carols, and more especially the intense Symphonie concertante op.81 (1926) for organ and orchestra, his best known work. In four movements, it includes virtuoso writing for the soloist, some dramatic moments, an atmospheric slow movement using a solemn hymn-like theme, and an exciting final toccata; the second movement is founded on quick changes of rhythm, and in the work there are unobtrusive atonal elements.

Jongen conducted the Concert Spirituels, specializing in religious music and including contemporary works, from 1920-1925. He was professor at the Conservatoire royal of Liège (1903-1914), and professor at (appointed 1920) and then Director of the Conservatoire royal of Brussels (1925-1939).


works include:

- symphony

- cello concerto; harp concerto; piano concerto; violin concerto; Fantasie rhapsodique for cello and orch.; Alleluia and Symphonie concertante for organ and orch.; Hymn for organ and strings; Symphonic Piece for piano and orch.; Allegro appassionato and Suite for viola and orch.; Poème héroïque, Second poème and Symphonic Adagio for violin and orch.; Epithalame et scherzo for 3 violins and orch.

- Fantaisie sur deux noëls populaires wallons, Impressions d'Ardennes, Lalla-Roukh, Overture de fête, Passacaglia et gigue, Prélude élègiaque et scherzo, Tableaux pittoresques, Troisième suite dans le style ancien, Tryptique and other works for orch.

- cello sonata; Humoresque for cello and organ; Concertino and Moto perpetuo for cello and piano; flute sonata; 2 violin sonatas; string trio; piano trio; trio for piano, violin and viola; Deux pièces en trio for flute, cello and harp; Elégie for 4 flutes; saxophone quartet; 3 string quartets; Prelude and Chaconne for string quartet; piano quartet; Concertino and Two Pieces for wind quintet; Concert à cinq for violin, viola, cello, flute and harp; Rhapsody for piano and wind quintet

- Crépuscule au lac Ogwen, Little Prelude, Suite en forme de sonate, Ten Pieces, Two Concert Studies, Third Concert Study and other works for piano;

- Chant de Mai, Sonata heroïca, Two Pieces and other works for organ

- Six Songs for voice and piano; cantata Hymne à la Meuse; Chant pastoral for women's chorus and piano or orch.; La Légende de St.Nicolas for children's choir and piano or orch.; Mass for unaccompanied chorus and other vocal works

- ballet S'Arka


recommended works:

Symphonie Concertante op.81 for organ and orchestra (1926) ───────────────────────────────────────

POUSSEUR Henri Léon Marie

born 23rd June 1929 at Malmédy


Henri Pousseur has been the leading exponent of avant-garde ideas in Belgium, and has achieved a wide prominence abroad, after studying with Boulez, Stockhausen and Berio, and thus gaining experience of three facets of that movement. Throughout his career, he has seen a correspondence between complex musical structures and complex social structures, and that solutions to the latter may be mirrored in solutions to the former.

The early works of a large and eclectic output show echoes of Webern (the canonic effects of the pre-serial, slow-moving and ruminating Sept versets des Psaumes de la Pénitance, 1950, for four-part mixed chorus or the Quintet in Memory of Anton Webern, 1955), and the influence of his meeting with Boulez in 1951 (the serial and pointillist Trois Chants Sacrés, 1951). He saw in the precision of total serialism an abstraction of sounds akin to aleatory effects, and so developed chance elements in his own work, such as Scambi (1957), in which the sixteen pre-recorded tape sections can be put together in any order, Mobile for Two Pianos (1957-1958) and Répons for seven instrumentalists, who each take various roles (such as conductor) according to set rules in different sections, with an actor coordinating the events in a second version (1965).

Increasingly Pousseur used extra-musical materials as source, as in the children's poems using old Liège street-names in the electronic Trois visages de Liège, which includes an unexpected diatonic passage among sounds influenced by the musique-concrète works of Schaeffer and Henry (it was commissioned for a son-et-lumière; the Liège authorities found the music too modern, and instead tried passages of Debussy and Bach before settling on Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue). His major work of the sixties, using the concept of mobile forms (alterations in such parameters as order of self-contained structures within the overall cast) and chance elements, was the opera Votre Faust, for five actors, singers, and twelve on-stage instrumentalists, written in collaboration with the writer Michel Butor between 1960 and 1967. The story is of a composer commissioned to write a new opera with all the money and resources he needs on the condition that it has a Faust theme. His cabaret waitress girlfriend tries to get him away from this commission, against the opposition of the theatre director. The audience have an important and involved role to play: they must at one point decide whether the composer must follow his girlfriend or the theatre director, and the opera proceeds accordingly, though through the manipulation of other audience choices it is steered to similar ends. A major concept in the opera is a duality: the unification and the continuity of the Western musical tradition on the one hand, and the potential spin-offs in various directions (including earlier musics) from the application of serial principles on the other. Earlier musics turn up as objets trouvées, paralleling similar developments in the visual arts. Thus in one section, a puppet-play on the Faust legend (`La chevauchée fantastique'), there are four possible (taped) background versions: one with Gounod's Faust, one with Mozart's Don Giovanni, one with snatches showing the progression of 19th-century harmony, and one with early church music. Another (instrumental) section, `Prologue dans le ciel', uses series taken from Schoenberg, Webern, Stravinsky, Boulez, Stockhausen and Pousseur himself, the Webern being manipulated into quasi-tonal and whole-tone transformations. Anticipating Stockhausen, a number of sections of the opera can be taken in their own right as concert works, modified (and sometimes with different chance elements) to suit the situation. Thus Miroir de Votre Faust (1964-1965) uses in modified form three of the opera sections, `Le tarot d'Henri' for piano, `La chevauchée fantastique' for soprano ad.lib. and piano, and `Souvenirs d'une marionette' (which combines some elements of both the previous two) for piano. There is also an associated taped version that includes other voices, instrumentalists, and electronics, Jeu de miroirs de Votre Faust (1967). Other self contained concert works include Echoes de Votre Faust in two variants (1967 and 1969), the first for cello, the second for mezzo-soprano, piano and cello, Ombres de Votre Faust for tape, and Fresques de Votre Faust for organ, violin, and two amplified instruments. An illustration of Pousseur's parallel between complex musical structures and complex social structures is provided by Jeu de miroirs de Votre Faust, where in `Le Tarot d'Henri' (a series of separate sheets of score which, in the concert version, can be played in any order) the variety of musical objets trouvées range from the tonal to the Webernesque, in order to show the central character's `quest for a homogeneous, harmonic field of action'. In Jeu de miroirs de Votre Faust, the form in which the work is now most likely to be encountered, the effects of these techniques are often startling, with a mosaic of found musical objects set in a general serial cast. It is not an easy work to assimilate, and is best heard after a general acquaintance with the techniques and sounds of the avant-garde, when it does provide a springboard for possible ways of working outwards from a central avant-garde serial core.

The possibilities of a complex harmonic diversity within an overall controlling structural unity were further explored in a number of divergent works. Couleurs croisées (1967) for orchestra takes the song `We shall overcome' and manipulates it in six sections, from complex chromaticism to a tonal cast. Les éphémérides d'Icare II (1970) for piano and 18 instruments predetermines the intervals and rhythms, but then allows collective improvisation within the parameters. Invitation à l'utopie (1970) for speaker, soloists, chorus, piano and 18 instruments, is actually the addition of voices (texts again by Michel Butor) to Les éphémérides d'Icare II, and echoes contemporary anthropological and linguistic ideas in the sequence of spoken language/sung language/sung phonemes/purely instrumental sound. The seven tape studies of Système des paraboles (1972) can be combined to form Parabole Mix I-III.

Like many avant-garde composers, Pousseur has been less prominent in recent years, and the more startling aspects of his music would seen to have mellowed, though with a consistency of concerns. The 81 units, gaining in length from ten seconds to five minutes and divided by the tinkle of small cymbals, of Agonie (1981) for voices, percussionist and synthesizers, have a consistency, a gentle flow not found in the work of the 1960s. Described by the composer as a 27-minute diminuendo, its subject is death, from two viewpoints: those around the dying person and the actual dying person. The texts are from a variety of sources, from modern writers to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and the structure is determined by a `timetable' divided into sections into which the singers cast dice. Behind the whole work, sometimes emerging overtly, is an air by the 16th-century composer John Dowland. In keeping with its title, it includes unkind music in the electronic distortion of voices, but the constancy of life and ritual is kept by the cymbals, arriving at a dark but tranquil ending in an effective and unostentatiously dramatic work.

In 1958 Pousseur founded the Studio de Musique Electronique (SME) Brussels. He taught at the Basle Conservatory (1963-1964) and at the state University of New York at Buffalo (1966-1968), and became professor of composition at the Liège Conservatory in 1971. He has written widely on avant-garde music.


works include:

- Symphony for 15 soloists

- Couleurs croisées and L'effacement du Prince Igor for orch.; Les éphémérides d'Icare II for piano and 18 instruments (version with solo vocalist and chorus titled Invitation à l'utope); Icare apprenti for any instruments; Rimes pour différentes sources sonores for three orchestras and tape; Trait for 15 strings

- Echoes de Votre Faust I for clarinet; Caractères madrigalesques for oboe; Ode for string quartet; Quintette à la mémoire d'Anton Webern; Répons for 7 musicians; Madrigal I-V (No.1 for clarinet; No.2 for flute, violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord; No.3 for clarinet, percussion, piano, violin and cello; No.4 for oboe and part of Caractères madrigalesques; No.5 Phonèmes pour Cathy for voice)

- Apostrophe et six réflexions, Exercises for piano; Mobile for two pianos; Prospections for 3 pianos in sixth-tones

- L'ibericare for guitar; 2 Vue sur les jardins interdits for organ

- Agonie for singers, percussion, synthesizers and electronics; Crosses of Crossed Colours for amplified female voice, 2-5 pianos, 2 radios, 2 tape recorders, 2 LP turntables; Echoes de Votre Faust II for mezzo-soprano, flute, piano and cello; Mnemosyne I for voice and chorus or voice and instruments, II for 1 or more performers; Sept versets des psaumes de la pénitence for chorus; Tales and Songs from the Bible of Hell for voices, tape, and live electronics; Trois chants sacrés for soprano and string trio

- ballet Electre for voice and instruments electronically modified

- opera Votre Faust; Schönbergs Gegenwart for actors, singers, and instrumental ensemble

- Etude pour Rimes II, Jeu de miroirs de Votre Faust, Lièges à Paris, Ombres de Votre Faust, Paraboles Mix I-III (from Système), Scambi, Seismogrammes I-II, Système des paraboles, Trois visages de Liège and other works for tape


recommended works:

Agonie (1981) for voices, percussionist and synthesizers

Miroirs de Votre Faust (1964-1965)/Jeu de miroirs de Votre Faust (1967) for various forces [see text]

Sept versets des Psaumes de la Pénitance (1950) for chorus

opera Votre Faust (1960-1967)



H. Pousseur Musique, sémantique, société, 1972


YSAŸE Eugène Auguste

born 16th July 1858 at Liège

died 12th May 1931 at Brussels


Considered by many the greatest violinist of his time, and a champion of the music of his contemporaries (notably Elgar's Violin Concerto), Ysaÿe the composer has largely been forgotten except for one set of works, the six Sonatas for solo violin, op.27, written in 1923. But like the Bach sonatas for solo violin that are their ancestors (No.2 quotes from the Prelude to Bach's Partita in E major, since its dedicatee, Jacques Thibaud, used the Bach piece for his pre-concert warm-up) these works are among the most effective violin works of their time, and among the most important works of the chamber violin repertoire. Each sonata is dedicated to a famous violinist of his age (each from a different country), and highlights elements of their individual styles; as a group the sonatas cover a very wide range of expression and technique, while maintaining a sense of consistency. The inspiration of Bach is evident in the form and phrasing of the ruminative and introspective Sonata No.1 in G minor, giving it a neo-classical feel. It is dedicated to the Hungarian Joseph Szigeti, and there are also moments of harmonic shading that give the sonata hints of Hungarian folk-music, as well as the dark overall hue. The late-Romantic Sonata No.2 in A minor is dedicated to the Frenchman Jacques Thibaud, and opens with the alternation of the Bach quote and an elaboration of the plainchant `Dies Irae'. The four movements have descriptive as opposed to abstract musical titles (obsession, melancholy, dance of the shades, the furies), and the overall cast is more emotionally expressive, nocturnal in the shades of the middle movement, with a slow quasi-folk dance in the third, and an equally slow but nightmarish treatment of the plainchant in the finale. The ballade-form Sonata No.3 in D minor, dedicated to the Rumanian Georges Enescu, is short and in one movement, more a flight of fancy, with the soaring main line supported by double- or triple-stopping. The Sonata No.4 in E minor, for the Austrian Fritz Kreisler, is neo-Baroque in form, and the grandest in the cycle. Its decorative but emphatic writing hints at Kreisler's own bravura compositional style in the consistent arpeggio motion. The two-movement Sonata No.5 in G major, dedicated to the Belgian Mathieu Crickboom, reverts to descriptive titles (`The Dawn', `Rustic Dance'), and is the most daring of the series, closest perhaps to Bartók in its intensity of expression and variety of means. The dawn opens with double stopping and pizzicato support before gradually building in intensity and thickness of texture, and it would be a perceptive listener who, coming blind to it, recognized that this was being played by only one instrument. The rustic dance has little in common with the neo-Baroque dance forms used elsewhere in the suite; rather it has the improvisatory feel, the inner descriptive logic, of a folk instrumentalist (especially in the changes of rhythmic flow), while at the same time utilizing phrases that maintain the consistency of the series. The extrovert Sonata No.6 in E major was the only one never to be played by its dedicatee, here the Spaniard Manuel Quiroga, due to injury. In one movement, it uses a Spanish habanera rhythm and sometimes the exceptionally high range used by gipsy fiddlers. All these sonatas are technically extremely difficult, and the combination of virtuoso demands and absorbing content, each sonata with its own particular character, makes them well worth the encounter.

Of Ysaÿe's other works, sometimes highly chromatic and turbulent in style, a number are violin show-pieces, following the tradition of Kreisler, of which the most celebrated is the Caprice d'après l'étude en forme de valse de Saint-Saëns, while the Poème élégiaque (before 1896) inspired the famous Poème for violin and orchestra by Ernest Chausson (1955-1899), written for Ysaÿe to play. He also wrote eight violin concertos, some of which he himself performed early in his career, but these have remained unpublished, as has his opera (in the Walloon dialect), Piére li houïeu (Peter the Miner, 1930). It was produced, and Ysaÿe, who suffered from diabetes, managed to attend the second performance just before his death.

Apart from his many concert tours, Ysaÿe was a founder-member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and directed the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in the U.S.A. from 1918 to 1922. He taught at the Brussels Conservatoire (1886-1898) and founded the Concerts Ysaÿe in the same city. His Stradivarius violin (the `Hercules' Stradivarius) was stolen while he was on a concert tour in Russia in 1908; it turned up in Berlin in 1947. A Fondation E. Ysaÿe was formed in 1961.


works include:

- 8 violin concertos; Méditation and Sérénade for cello and orch.; Concerto d'après deux poèmes for violin and orch.; Berceuse, Chant d'hiver, Divertimento, Extase, fantasia, Les neiges d'antan, Poème élégiaque, and Scène au rouet for violin and orch.; Amitié for 2 violins and orch.; Poème nocturne for violin, cello and orch.; Harmonies du soir for string quartet and string orch.;

- Exil for string orch.

- sonata for solo cello; 6 sonatas for solo violin; 10 Preludes, Variations on Paganini's Caprice and other works for solo violin; sonata for 2 violins; Caprice d'après l'étude en forme de valse de Saint-Saëns, Etude-poéme, Saltarelle carnavalesque and many other works for violin and piano; Trio de concert for 2 violins and viola; string quintet

- opera Piére li houïeu


recommended works

Six Sonatas op.27 (1923) for solo violin



L.Ginsberg Ysaÿe, trans. X.M.Danko, 1980

A.Ysaÿe and B.Ratcliffe Ysaÿe: His Life, Work and Influence, 1947





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We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

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Reviews from previous months
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