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BONIS, Mel (1858-1937)

The career as a composer 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 she used her own favourite instrument, the piano, in her most acclaimed works. Often championing her own compositions, she wrote works for solo piano – including the first of her “Women of legends” series, Phœbé, Viviane and Salomé in 1909 – as well as chamber music pieces in which the flute played an important role. Her Piano Quartet No. 1 (1905), written in a Faurean vein, appears to be her biggest success, however. Before achieving this late fame – which enabled her to become the first woman on the board of the Society of Music Composers (1910) – Mel Bonis had long remained attached to her home. After she married the industrialist Édouard Domange (already twice widowed) in 1883, her duties as a step-mother and then as a mother kept her away from Parisian musical life, albeit without silencing her: after completing her studies at the Paris Conservatoire (1876-1881, 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 religiously inspired works (for organ or voice) and educational pieces. She left a large number of unpublished works that reveal a skilled composer and orchestrator, who was unjustly neglected during her lifetime.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 - 20
  • 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)
  • Gitanos, grande valse espagnole for piano, Les (Mel Bonis)
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    Themes - 2
  • Compositrices
  • 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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