Saturday, September 1, 2007

1950-1952: Paris

1950 Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris.

Philip leaving for Paris

Philip in Paris, studied music history with Norbert Dufourcq and harpsichord with Marcelle de Lacour (one of the 1st teachers of harpsichord). Philip rented a Playel harpsichord (4’, 2 x 8’, 16’)

Philip in Paris

Norbert Dufourcq's Histoire de la Musique class at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, 1950-1951, with Philip (4th from left, back row) and his pals, Laurence Boulay (3rd from left, front row) and Huguette Dreyfus (3rd from right, front row).

Laurence Boulay became Basso Continuo professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and had a recording career. Huguette Dreyfus became Harpsichord professor at the Conservatory of Lyon and had a recording career.

Philip near Innsbruck, Austria and his note on the back of the photo.

1951-1952 Received meager stipend from French government to remain a second year at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. No $ for a 3rd year of study, which was usually necessary to complete a full course of study.

Wayne Peterson thought that Phil had became too ill to return to the US after his first year in Paris and that this was why he had to stay another year. Wayne thought the illness might have been jaundice or hepatitis, but wasn't sure. This might explain the meager stipend from the French government for Phil’s second year.

Lois Price relates a different version of this year: I was told by my parents (and I think by Philip) that he received a second scholarship from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. It was very small compared to the Fulbright Scholarship. He was not ill at the beginning of the 2nd year. (I doubt the French government would have supported him only because of illness.) However, he did become ill at the end of his 2nd year in France. Our parents and many relatives had planned a “welcome home” party for him at his arrival back in North Dakota. Instead, they took him directly to the hospital in Breckenridge, Minnesota, and he recovered in a few weeks. (I was in Duluth.)

From the Conservatory Archivist: Monsieur Basil Lillestol a obtenu en 1951 un Premier Accessit d'Histoire de la Musique (classe M. Dufourcq), et en 1952 une Première Mention de Culture générale et Esthétique (classe de M. Beaufils).

Madame Laurence Boulay a obtenu en 1950 un Premier Prix d'Histoire de la Musique et en 1951 un Prix d'Excellence dans cette même discipline. Madame Huguette Dreyfus a obtenu en 1951 un Second Prix d'Histoire de la Musique.

From Bob Laudon: For any prize, it was necessary to concourer. Phil described to me the pulling of a slip out of a hat, the slip would contain a topic (he mentioned, "such as the Saint-Matthew Passion"), then the student would have about 20 minutes to retire en loge to prepare his presentation before a distinguished jury of the most famous European people in music history or esthetics. From what he said, the presentation was supposed to take about 20 minutes and could include questions from the jury. Normally the teacher of the class would be one member of the jury.

From Ed Savage: Phil’s harpsichord teacher, Marcelle de Lacour, was a student of Landowska. Phil may also have played for his friend Hugette Dreyfus' teacher, Ruggero Gerlin, who had also been a Landowska student.

Edward B. Savage Obituary

From Bob Laudon with information from the history of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris:

There probably was no concours for harpsichord while Phil was there since Marcelle de Lacour was not officially recognized for that class until 1955. Phil arrived on the scene just at the moment when Norbert Dufourcq and Marcel Beaufils were at their peak.

Dufourcq was organist of Saint-Merry de Paris and had a fabulous background culminating in a doctorat ès lettres at the Sorbonne. Just before Phil's arrival, he had published J-Sébastien Bach and La Messe en si mineur (1848), La Musique française (1949) this was the topic of Phil's class with Dufourcq, and Le Clavecin (1949). He held the post of professor of music history at CNS (Conservatoire National Supérieur) 1941-1975.

Marcel Beaufils was professor of esthetics at CNS 1947-1971. He studied in Strasbourg and wrote in German as well as French. He was acquainted with the Second Viennese School of Alban Berg, etc. during his stay in Vienna. Just before Phil's arrival, he published Wagner et le wagnérisme (1946), Chopin (1949) and La musique de piano de Schumann (1951). Phil, of course, was fluent in German.

I really do not see any difference between Accesit and Première Mention except that Accesit can have degrees such as premier, sécond. I think he studied piano also, but the archivist makes no mention of it or of solfège. Sometimes there were different standards for the foreign students and the French.

As I looked at those photos, it struck me that those were fairly large classes and that to win any recognition in them must have been truly earned.

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