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Powell, John – Lucien Durosoir: A Life at the Crossroads

Date

2011-2

Description

Mobilised in 1914, at the age of 36, Lucien Durosoir had previously enjoyed a glittering career for 17 years as a violinist in Central Europe, the Germanic countries, and even Russia. A week before his mobilisation, he had analysed the monumental Art of Fugue by J. S. Bach, the founder of Classical art. Miraculously, Durosoir survived those 55 months of war, spending the first 15 in the trenches, gun in hand. The lucky break of his life was meeting music-loving officers who ordered him to form a string quartet, which was immediately joined by the composer, André Caplet, holder of the Grand Prix de Rome. The two men were soon put in charge of a pigeon house together. Any leisure time they had was devoted to music, playing instruments and analysing the most recent scores received from the rear; during fervent discussions, the desire to compose, which had always motivated Lucien Durosoir, gradually took firmer hold. This desire, expressed in September 1916, only grew stronger and, when Durosoir was discharged at the age of 41, he felt an overriding need to reinvent himself on his return as a modern composer.