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Anonymous Photograph. From L. Rohozinski: Cinquante Ans de Musique Française, Paris, 1925.

Anonymous Photograph. From L. Rohozinski: Cinquante Ans de Musique Française, Paris, 1925.

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KOECHLIN, Charles Louis Eugène (b.Paris, 27 November 1867; d.Le Canadel, Var, 31 December 1950)

 

The 150th anniversary of Koechlin's birth falls next month.  We show here a selection of the early songs with which he both found his voice as a composer and first reached public notice.

The Rondels, Op.1 were the second publication of this comparatively late starter.  Their third number, Le Thé, was composed in 1890, the year he entered the Paris Conservatoire after initial military training.  It sets a poem about an English girl and a Chinese teacup, and on publication achieved immediate success.

The Cinq Mélodies, Op.5 included another song, Si tu le veux, which gained widespread popularity.  However in a long and immensely productive career (well over 200 opus numbers in most musical genres) Koechlin remained better known as a teacher and writer than as a composer and the serious critical acclaim due to his music was gained only posthumously.

The three Recueils de Mélodies (1905-1910), containing the first editions of nearly forty songs, were published privately in limited editions by the composer.

(Please click the thumbnails below to view larger image)

Rondels, Op.1. Paris, [1896]. Promenade Galante, [Op.5, No.1]. Paris, [1900].  Composed 1893, and first performed at the Concerts Colonne 1898. La Prière du Mort, Op.17, No.2. [1902].  Composed 1895-6 and first performed at the Concerts Colonne 1901.

Premier Recueil de Mélodies. Paris, [1905]. Like its successors, this was published privately by the composer. Second Recueil de Mélodies. Paris, [1906?]. Troisième Recueil de Mélodies. Paris, [1910?].