Music Fonts 

Published works 


Georges Antoine 

Jean-Pierre Armanet 

Paul Barras 

Tiziano Bedetti 

Michel Béro 

Jean-Louis Cadée 

Leonello Capodaglio 

Yves Carlin 

Dominique Charle 

Thierry Chleide 

Marcel Cominotto 

Roger Cornelis 

Mathieu Debaar 

Christian Debecq 

Firmin Decerf 

Paul Detiffe 

Berthe di Vito-Delvaux 

Georges Dubois 

Albert Dupuis 

Michel Fourgon 

Pierre Froidebise 

Maurice Guillaume 

André Jadot 

Mathieu Jodin 

André Klenes 

Lucien Lambotte 

Louis Lavoye 

Michel Leclerc 

Guillaume Lekeu 

Jean-Luc Lepage 

Alain Levecq 

Pierre Liémans 

Albert Lomba 

Guy-Philippe Luypaerts 

Anne Martin 

Raymond Micha 

Marian Mitea 

Onofrio Palumbo 

Désiré Pâque 

Jean-Dominique Pasquet 

Carlos Peron Cano 

René Potrat 

Henri Pousseur 

Jean Rogister 

Paul Rouault 

Paul Sana 

Pierre Schwickerath 

Edouard Senny 

Claude Siquiet 

Philippe Verkaeren 

Patrick Wilwerth 

Pirly Zurstrassen 

 Désiré PÂQUE (Liège 1867 - Bessancourt 1939 )

DÉSIRÉ PÂQUEDésiré Pâque was born in Liège on 21 May 1867 and died in Bessancourt, north of Paris, on 20 November 1939. He received a thorough training in organ and composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Music at Liège. He was one of several brilliant and hard-working students (Armand Marsick, Louis Lavoye, Charles Smulders, Léon and Joseph Jongen, principally) under an inspiring principal, Jean-Théodore Radoux. Désiré Pâque was adventurous and evidently somewhat headstrong. He choose to venture abroad to seek fame, but thisattempt to found a conservatoire in Sofia in 1897 was not successful. He then taught composition in Athens from 1900 to 1902, returning to Brussels in 1902, he went to Paris in 1905, then to Lisbon in 1906, where he remained until 1909. He was there remembered for a long time for having taught Luis Freitas Branco (Lisbon, 1890 - 1955). He left Portugal for good and moved to Germany in june 1909 (Hamburg, Bremen and Berlin) before he took root in Switzerland in 1913. When World War I broke out, the composer and his family settled in Paris in the month of May 1914. Désiré Pâque tries unsuccessfully to make his mark. From 1927 to 1939, he maintains a significant creative activity (almost a fourth of his work appears during this last period), but success eluded him. He became inward-looking in the course of his increasingly harsh and morose retreat in Bessancourt, in the Valley of the river Oise.

Early in his carrer, in 1909, his friend Busoni made him aware of the aesthetic problems posed by the emergence of Schoenbergian atonality, and he was quick to seek to define a creative strategy in a period which had thrown up so many profound questions. He fashioned his own personal mode of expression, defending it without becoming dogmatic : he called it "adjonction constante d'éléments musicaux nouveaux" which might be translated "continuous musical sequence". This composition technique made its first appearance in his op. 67, the Organ Symphony, composed in Berlin in 1910, immediatly before his first Piano Sonata.

It may be useful here to quote Désiré Pâque's own words : « The arranging of fresh musical elements in a continuous sequence as a method of developping a musical work is the direct antithesis of the thematic unity though not a stylistic unity, and it is important not to confuse the two. This new system of building up a musical work consists not of exploiting one or two themes but of multiplying the musical motifs. … Continuous sequence has manifested itself in our musical production so far two aspects or on two levels. On the first level the listener finds himself in the presence of numerous themes - they might also be called clearly-defined melodic timbres - rather than in the presence of an (ideally at least) endless melodic line. This method of construction preserves virtually all the compositional procedures, except (and this is the most important point) that during the course of the musical action, i.e. as the piece proceeds, the themes are repeated, transposed, augmented and diminished without ever being distorted or mutilated by fragmentation. They remain intact, just as they were at their first appearance or exposition. What varies is what accompanies them ».

Philippe Gilson
Bibliothécaire du Conservatoire de Musique de Liège
Translated by Celia Skrine


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