Gabriel Pierné, classical music composer

Gabriel Pierné

Biography

Henri Constant Gabriel Pierné (16 August 1863 – 17 July 1937) was a French composer, conductor, and organist.

Gabriel Pierné was born in Metz in 1863. His family moved to Paris to escape the Franco-Prussian War. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, gaining first prizes for solfège, piano, organ, counterpoint and fugue. He won the French Prix de Rome in 1882, with his cantata Edith. His teachers included Antoine François Marmontel, Albert Lavignac, Émile Durand, César Franck (for the organ) and Jules Massenet (for composition).

He succeeded César Franck as organist at Saint Clotilde Basilica in Paris from 1890 to 1898. He himself was succeeded by another distinguished Franck pupil, Charles Tournemire. Associated for many years with Édouard Colonne's concert series, the Concerts Colonne, from 1903, Pierné became chief conductor of this series in 1910.

His most notable early performance was the world premiere of Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Firebird, at the Ballets Russes, Paris, on 25 June 1910. He remained in the post until 1933 (when Paul Paray took over his duties).

He died in Ploujean, Finistère, in 1937.

Pierné wrote several operas and choral and symphonic pieces, as well as a good deal of chamber music. His most famous composition is probably the oratorio La Croisade des Enfants. Also notable are such shorter works as his March of the Little Lead Soldiers, which once enjoyed substantial popularity (not only in France) as an encore; the comparably popular Marche des petits Faunes is from his ballet Cydalise et le Chèvre-pied. His chamber work, Introduction et variations sur une ronde populaire, for saxophone quartet is a standard in saxophone quartet repertoire.

His discovery and promotion of the work of Ernest Fanelli in 1912 led to a controversy over the origins of impressionist music.

Composer Title Date Action
Gabriel Pierné Solo de concert for bassoon and Piano, Op. 35 01/16/2009 Play Add to playlist
Gabriel Pierné Canzonetta op.19 07/29/2010 Play Add to playlist
Gabriel Pierné Sonata op.36 for violin and piano (I.Allegretto) 10/26/2011 Play Add to playlist