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BONIS, Mel (1858-1937)

The compositional career of Mélanie Domange, née Bonis, was in full swing in the twenty years leading up to the First World War. Her talents spanned nearly all the musical genres, with the exception of opera, and her most acclaimed works used her own favourite instrument, the piano; she often performed them herself in public. In addition to works for solo piano – including the first of her ‘Femmes de légende’ series, Phœbé, Viviane and Salomé, in 1909 – she also wrote chamber pieces in which the flute played an important role. Her Piano Quartet no.1 (1905), written in a Faurean vein, was her biggest success. Before achieving this belated fame – which enabled her to become the first woman on the committee of the Société des Compositeurs de Musique (1910) – Mel Bonis had long been confined to the domestic sphere. After she married the industrialist Édouard Domange (already twice widowed) in 1883, her duties as a stepmother and then as a mother kept her away from Parisian musical life, albeit without silencing her: after completing her studies at the Paris Conservatoire (1876-81, with Ernest Guiraud, Auguste Bazille and César Franck), she managed to have songs and piano pieces printed by various publishers. However, the Great War put an end to her public exposure as a composer, and she then devoted herself essentially to works of religious inspiration (for organ or voice) and teaching pieces. She left a large number of unpublished works that reveal a skilled composer and orchestrator, unjustly neglected in her lifetime.

    Images - 24
  • Mel Bonis (1901)
  • Mel Bonis (1904)
  • Mel Bonis (à la fin de sa vie)
  • Mel Bonis (années 1900)
  • Mel Bonis (sd)
  • Mel Bonis (vers 1883)
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    Works - 23
  • Album pour les tout-petits (Mel Bonis)
  • Barcarolle for piano in E flat major, op. 71 (Mel Bonis)
  • Cathédrale blessée op. 7, La (Mel Bonis)
  • Écho op. 89 et Narcisse op. 90 pour piano (Mel Bonis)
  • Femmes de légende, seven pieces for piano (Mel Bonis)
  • Femmes de légende, three pieces for orchestra (Mel Bonis)
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    Themes - 2
  • Women composers
  • Courant – L’École franckiste
  • Symposia - 2
  • Les compositrices au siècle de Pauline Viardot (2013)
  • Mel Bonis (2018)
  • Documents - 63
  • [Catalogue] Catalogue général. Musique Mel Bonis (Pierre Domange)
  • [Catalogue] Liste des morceaux édités (Mel Bonis)
  • [Catalogue] Œuvres complètes de Mel Bonis (Pierre Domange)
  • [Catalogue] Répertoire des œuvres de Mel Bonis déclarées à la Société des auteurs
  • Bonis, Mel – Souvenirs et Réflexions
  • Cahier de composition de Mel Bonis. Leçons de Charles Koechlin (1908-1909)
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