Author Topic: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)  (Read 4705 times)

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pjme

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Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« on: April 06, 2016, 09:29:28 AM »


April 16th in de Singel / Antwerp:

https://desingel.be/en



Albert Huybrechts Discovery

In recent years, Albert Huybrechts’ music has finally been getting more attention in Belgium. It is no exaggeration to say that Huybrechts is an original and gifted composer. During this Discovery day, you’ll find out everything about Huybrecht’s intimate and personal style. This took him from Romanticism to Impressionism to an almost expressionistic idiom.

12 uur Blauwe zaal
film ‘S’enfuir’
regie Joachim Thôme 

14.15 uur Blauwe zaal
Liesbeth Devos sopraan
Andrew Wise piano
Aldo Baerten fluit
Leo De Neve altviool
Malibran Quartet
Tatiana Samouil, Aki Saulière viool
Tony Nys altviool
Justus Grimm cello

Trio voor fluit, altviool en piano
Selectie liederen voor sopraan en piano
‘Chant funèbre’ voor cello en piano
Deux poèmes d'Emile Verhaeren voor sopraan en strijkkwartet

15.45 uur Blauwe zaal
Malibran Quartet
Tatiana Samouil, Aki Saulière viool
Tony Nys altviool
Justus Grimm cello
Strijkkwartet nr 1 
Strijkkwartet nr 2
‘Aesope’ voor strijkkwartet

17.30 uur Witte zaal
Andrew Wise
lecture recital  ‘Elizabeth & Albert’ over de Sonate voor viool en piano       
Tatiana Samouil viool
Andrew Wise piano
Sonate voor viool en piano

20.30 uur Blauwe zaal 
Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège olv. Fayçal Karoui
Camille Thomas cello
'Chant d’angoisse' voor orkest
'Chant funèbre' voor cello en orkest
Concertino voor cello en orkest
Poème Féerique' voor orkest

I will go to the orchestral concert . The Cyprès label is recording all the chamber music. Let's hope the rest will get a new chance aswel.



See also:the Royal Northern College of Music:

https://www.rncm.ac.uk/uploads/Research_Forum_Programme_2013-14.pdf

Wednesday 30 April:

Dr Andrew Wise(Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp)
‘Elizabeth & Albert’: Albert Huybrechtsand the Coolidge prize
The Belgian composer Albert Huybrechts (1899-1937) wrote his magnificent violin sonata in 1925,and with it won the 1926 edition of the famousCoolidge Prize. Huybrechts was 27 when he won. Itought to have been a splendid feather in his capand a passport to fame and fortune. But this wasnot how things turned out…
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 09:50:38 AM by pjme »

Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2016, 12:43:31 PM »
Thanks for posting - I've never heard this composer's work.
I always have to be very wary of record-company promotional stuff, though - "original"?
I doubt it, but he could be a very good melodist and craftsman.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2016, 01:24:43 PM »
Condensed from The New Grove:

        Albert Huybrechts
_________________________________________________________________________
(b Dinant, 12 Feb 1899; d Brussels, 21 Feb 1938). Belgian composer. He studied at the Brussels Conservatory with Marchand, Du Bois and Joseph Jongen. His Sonata for violin and piano and his First String Quartet were award-winning. He was put in charge of the harmony course at the Brussels Conservatory in 1937. Reacting against his Cesar Franck-influenced training, he at first followed Debussy and, more particularly, Ravel: these influences are evident in the Quartet no.1. At the Pro Arte concerts in Brussels he encountered the music of Berg, Stravinsky and Bartok; the passion of their music influenced him to compose about the wrongs of the world, for which he adopted a polytonal style, his goal to confront conformism that he perceived with  bourgeois tastes. He died eary from kidney failure.

The cadenza of the Cello Concertino (1932) expresses his anger, although some pieces have a tender delicacy (e.g. the Second Quartet, 1927) and a feeling of joy bursts through in the neo-Classical Serenade (1929).

Other works include the orchestral Chant d’angoisse (1930), a Wind Quintet (1936) and other instrumental music, mélodies and incidental scores.




« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 01:49:41 PM by Scion7 »
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2016, 09:57:21 PM »
Vinyl LP, and some CD's - click image to expand.

The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2016, 10:18:13 PM »
The back covers of the previously listed Chamber Music CD's - click to enlarge.

The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2016, 12:00:29 AM »
I should check out some of this guy's music. Perhaps with his string quartets first.......

Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2016, 03:32:47 AM »
Apparently, some Alpha Brussels label LPs exist. I can only find one image, for the Divertissements for Brass & Percussion - early 1970's LP

« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 01:05:50 AM by Scion7 »
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2016, 02:35:38 PM »
Click to enlarge:

« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 04:19:24 PM by Scion7 »
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938) - YT radio broadcasts?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2016, 04:11:41 PM »
Someone put up some orchestral stuff purportedly by Huybrechts on YT, with the statement that the there was no other information except the titles?  Claims a member of a Belgian rock group (Univers Zero) gave them to him.  To me, they come off as recordings from a radio-broadcast limited vinyl pressing, destined not for sale, but for radio promotion.  A couple have ok sound - one recording has either terrible static or the LP was visited by a clowder of kittens with sharp claws.  I've done some internet searches about these and found nada.  Couldn't find them at Unsung Composers, either.  If they were ever officially pressed by Alpha Brussels, I couldn't find any information to that effect.  ??

Serenade in 3 Movements  (1929)
Concertino for Cello & Orchestra  (1932)
Poème féerique Nos 1 & 2  (1923)
Chant d'angoisse  (1930)   unlistenable
Funeral Chant, for Cello & Orchestra  (1926)
Choral for Organ  (1930)

I'm assuming these are Huybrechts' works and not misrepresented.  Be nice to know some details about the pieces (scores are under copyright and won't be found at the IMSLP).
The only formal bio I can find of him dates from 1958 and is in either Flemish or French, and the university doesn't have it, anyway.  It is a section in a series of volumes on Belgian composers, not a standalone biography.


28 years ago, Philippe GILSON wrote these sleeve notes:


Great-nephew to the cellist virtuoso Franz Servais, Albert Huybrechts was born in Dinant in 1899. He first studied music with his father who was a double-bass player with the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie. He then went on to study at the Brussels Conservatory where P. Marchand, L. Dubois and J. Jongen were his main preceptors throughout his musical training and instruction. From 1916 when he won his first prize for oboe, Huybrechts was forced to make a hard living as a musician. His father died in 1920 and he was left to provide for the whole family. However he came into an inheritance which allowed him the time and leisure to compose. Works dating from this period are Poemes feeriques and David, poeme biblique (1923) as well as the Deux Poemes d'Emile Verhaeren for soprano and string quartet. It was also at this time that he discovered the outstanding scores of Igor Stravinski, The Rite of Spring, and Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg. In 1926 his First String Quartet (1924) took first prize at the Ojai Valley Festival (U.S.A.) and within a few days his Sonata forviolin and piano (1925) won the Elisabeth Coolidge (Washington) prize. He continued to compose a number of works among which his Second String Quartet (1927) and Chant d'angoisse for orchestra (1930), generally considered to be his masterpiece. With the hope of beeing able to live on his private income and thus devote himself entirely to composing, Huybrechts dabbled on the Stock Exchange risking the greater part of his capital. The Wall Street crash ruined him and the rest of his fortune was lost in subsequent and futile speculations. Throughout the 1930's he attempted to find a way of establishing his position as a composer in teaching. A successful issue was finally arrived at in 1937 when he was appointed assistant professor of harmony at Brussels Conservatory. But he was exhausted physically and morally and he died a few months later of an attack of uraemia (1938). The last ten years of his life saw the composition of the Concertino for cello and orchestra (1932) and the Divertissement for brass and percussion (1936). Two musical trends run through Huybrecht's work of latter years: expressionism is reflected in the First String Quartet (1924). Chant funebre for cello and piano (1926) and Chant d'angoisse (1930); the neo-classic style is perfectly developed in the Second String Quartet (1927) and in the Serenade in three movements for orchestra (1929). It is regrettable that to this day there is still no complete study of the life and works of this admirable composer.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 04:12:12 PM by Scion7 »
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

pjme

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938) - YT radio broadcasts?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2016, 10:42:47 PM »
Someone put up some orchestral stuff purportedly by Huybrechts, with the statement that the there was no other information except the titles?  Claims a member of a Belgian rock group (Univers Zero) gave them to him.  To me, they come off as recordings from a radio-broadcast limited vinyl pressing, destined not for sale, but for radio promotion. 




Belgian Decca made some recordings in ca 1950-1960. Usualy with the Belgian National Orchestra and various conductors such André Cluytens, Franz André and René Defossez. Apart from the works mentiond, Huybrechts'"David" definitely was recorded aswel. These - now "historical" LP's - were and are very rare. The Alpha discs got a relatively wider distribution - but still in those days when Stockhausen and Boulez/Messiaen ruled the earth, composers from Flanders and Wallonia (mildly expressionistic, tentatively dodecaphonic, basically late Romantic or influenced by impressionism...) made little impact.
So it is good to see that Huybrechts gets some attention (thanks to a Brit ...).

The Divertissement for brass and percussion (quiite substantial, in three movements) has been recorded by les Guides.  That cd is, I fear, no longer available.

http://www.royalbands.mil.be/fr/musique-royale-des-guides#h2_3




Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2016, 01:08:59 AM »
The Alpha Brussels LP with the Sonatine for Flute & Viola from the early 70's:

The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2016, 04:08:57 PM »
Old 1950s 10" Decca LP for the Chant D'angoisse



Later series of Fifties Decca BAT LP's that were 12" - nice jacket!  The Serenade for Orchestra  and the symphonic poem, David.

The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2016, 06:43:02 PM »
The greatest Belgian Classical composer after Cesar Franck?   :-\ I think I would place him between Franck and Vieuxtemps.  I'm enjoying a lot of what I hear - especially the songs, which are quite good (but a bit puzzling for the adaptations of Poe - those are some obscure poems of his) - and Naxos or CPO or Philips should record his orchestral pieces properly for release.  In fact, I'm a bit surprised Philips hasn't looked into this already . . .
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

pjme

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2016, 10:32:24 AM »
Next week, after the concert, I'll let you know what I think of Huybrechts" anno 2016".
Thanks for those old Decca Lps!
Defossez was an interesting composer himself. I remember an exuberant concerto for two piano's and an extravavagantly scored piece for orchestra "Moto perpetuo".... He leaves a large body of music.

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Defossez

Peter

Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2016, 10:45:26 AM »
Thanks for those old Decca Lps!

I wish I could find the covers - back AND front - for all of them at a good resolution to read all the text on the back.
So rare, probably a pipe dream.

What do you think of his assessment as a Belgian composer?  I think he was more forward-looking than Vieuxtemps, so I think he's just after Franck.  It's a crime that so much more music was almost certainly within him that was lost forever by his early demise.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

pjme

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2016, 11:56:26 AM »
What I've heard of Huybrechts falls between impressionism and expressionism (ca. Prokofiev-Bartok-style), I think. I'm sure he knew his César Franck...

Possibly he may have become a kind of Belgian Honegger.... ? Peu importe. It doesn't matter. I look forward to well played Huybrechts!

P.

https://youtu.be/F1X5scC6ch8



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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2016, 05:18:59 PM »
I just listened to the Vioin Sonata and Chamber works for winds. I'm impressed with the contemporary sound and expressive nature of the music. Really good! :o

Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2016, 05:22:31 PM »
Yes, his music is very impressive - tragic early end before he had completed what was surely to be a lengthy list of worthy pieces.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

pjme

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2016, 11:46:43 AM »
Yesterday, in Antwerp:


Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège olv. Fayçal Karoui

Camille Thomas cello

'Chant d’angoisse' voor orkest
'Chant funèbre' voor cello en orkest
Concertino voor cello en orkest
Poème Féerique' voor orkest

First of all: it was a very happy and welcome discovery of some excellent music. Four shortish works , ranging from10 to 17 minutes, Poème féerique is slightly longer, it has two movements each lasting around 10 minutes. Although Huybrechts is 'a child of his time', a disticntly personal voice emerges. Debussy is , afaik, the most obvious influence. Especially the first movement of Poème féerique has a lightness and elegance that is reminiscent of Rondes de printemps. The second movement however, Saturnales, has a rythmical exuberance that Florent Schmitt would have loved.
Chant d'angoisse and Chant funèbre (for cello and orchestra ) had a much darker character. Ernest Bloch, Artrhur Honegger, some melodies made me even think of Frank Martin. I quote these name purely as a style indication.

Camille Thomas, a young Franco/Belgian cellist was very impressive in both concertante works. She played both works with force and passion.

http://www.camillethomas.com/bio.php?lg=en

Alas: almost as many people on stage as in the hall....Really sad and depressing. The concert and the Discovery  day had been well announced on radio and the press.

I'll try to write more tomorrow.

Peter



« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 11:48:27 AM by pjme »

Offline Scion7

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Re: Albert Huybrechts (1899-1938)
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2016, 12:47:43 PM »
Sounds like an amazing concert.

And yes, the sorry state of today's attendance for composers that are not part of the standard pantheon of the "greats" like Mozart ... I don't see it changing any time soon.  With the advance of the rot and decay in what the popular tastes are, and what passes as modern Western culture in general, Classical music is - as related by Robert Fripp per a statement by Eno - "a dead fish."  I'm glad there are still many great talents inspired to pursue a career and do the extremely hard work of studying and practice-practice-practice.

At least we can look forward to the recordings.  I think a lot of effort was put into this performance of Huybrechts' works, and the artists must feel let down.   :(

Maybe if they'd thrown in a piece by Brahms or Mozart, more butts would have been in the seats.

Looking forward to your further revelations of the experience.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal