Jacques Chailley (1910–1999) — Prélude-Dédicace [sur B-A-C-H] (1985) for organ
“Prélude-Dedicace” (1985) was composed for the Johann Sebastian Bach 300th anniversary celebrations. The musical material is a four-note theme: the letters B-A-C-H treated as a musical motive: B-flat, A, C, B-natural (“H” in German note naming). Starting with Bach himself, this theme has been used by a truly enormous number of composers over the centuries.
French composer and musicologist Jacques Chailley (1910–1999) was born in Montpellier and educated at the Paris Conservatory. He studied with Nadia Boulanger, Claude Delvincourt, Maurice Emmanuel, and Henri Büsser. He continued his studies at the Sorbonne with André Pirro and studied conducting for a year in Amsterdam with Pierre Monteaux, Willem Mengelberg, and Bruno Walter. Chailley was a specialist in medieval music and devoted much of his musicological activities to its promotion and revival. During World War II, he was a member of the Front National des Musiciens, a French resistance group of musicians. Chailley was a prolific musicologist and editor, producing numerous articles and books related to music history and many editions of later works from the classical and romantic era. He also authored several books on thie history of harmony. Among his important activities in medieval music was the publication of the first edition of Guillaume de Machaut’s seminal “Messe de Nostre Dame.” As a composer, Chailley was part of a post-Debussy French tradition with a modal/tonal language in the spirit of Ravel, Roussel, and Honneger. He had no interest in atonality and other avant-garde trends of the 20th century. His body of work includes music in all genres, including three operas.
Published by Éditions M. Combre