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Joseph Canteloube


1879 - 1957


Date of birth:
Date of death:

Marie-Joseph Canteloube de Malaret, known as Joseph Canteloube (1879-1957)

Born in Ardèche, Canteloube took his first music lessons with Amélie Doetzer, a former pupil of Chopin. He began composing around 1900, and two years later he met Vincent d’Indy, who became his teacher first by correspondence, then from 1907 at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. After the First World War, Canteloube organised a series of lecture-concerts and carried out activities as a pianist in Montauban. He worked on the incorporation of folksongs into art music, as did others who studied with d’Indy. For those “regionalist” composers, “serious” French music could only be revitalised through folksongs. Canteloube’s interest in the latter dated back to 1895, when he began collecting folk melodies in the countryside. But his approach was not that of an ethnomusicologist: his idea was to create from the collected source. Canteloube thus arranged many folksongs, with orchestra or piano or without accompaniment, incorporating them into a harmony derived from the post-Romantic tradition, marked by the language of Debussy. The best known of them are his many Chants d'Auvergne, composed between 1923 and 1955. His catalogue also includes an opérette and three operas (two of which, Le Mas, 1929, and Vercingétorix,1933, were presented at the Paris Opéra), art songs (melodies), chamber music and a few orchestral pieces and piano compositions. Canteloube also published an extensive four-volume Anthologie des chants populaires français (1939-1944).


Chants d’Auvergne



Dans la montagne



Poème pour violon et orchestre



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Documents and archives

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