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Canteloube

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Biography

Marie-Joseph Canteloube de Malaret (1879 - November 4, 1957), was a French composer. Canteloube was born in Annonay in the Ardèche, and died at Grigny in Yvelines.

He is best known for his collection of folk songs from the Auvergne region, Chants d’Auvergne (“Songs of the Auvergne”). Canteloube himself believed that “les chants paysans s’élèvent bien souvent au niveau de l’art le plus pur, par le sentiment et l’expression, sinon par la forme” (“peasant songs often rise to the level of purest art in terms of feeling and expression, if not in form”).

Canteloube studied music in Paris under Amélie Daetzer, a former pupil of Chopin. He also studied composition under Vincent d’Indy. His first composition, “Colloque Sentimentale”, dates from 1903. His other works include the operas Le Mas and Vercingétorix. In 1925, he founded La Bourrée, an association whose aim was to promote the Auvergne. In 1941, during the Nazi occupation of France, Canteloube joined the Vichy government, an action that has been attributed to political naiveté.

As well collecting and arranging traditional folk songs, Canteloube wrote extensively on the subject of music. His works include biographies of his former teacher, d’Indy, and of Déodat de Séverac.

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