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French composer born in Paris on September 19, 1896, Robert Dussaut attended the Paris Conservatory where his teachers were Paul Fauchet (Harmony), Georges Caussade (Fugue), and in composition: Charles-Marie Widor, Vincent d’Indy and Henri Busser (then assistant professor). He obtained there the highest honors (Harmony, Fugue, Counterpoint, Composition), which were crowned in 1924 by the First Grand Prix de Rome. From 1925 to 1928, he stayed at the Villa Medicis in Rome. He obtained many Prizes from Institut de France. In 1937 he was appointed professor at the Paris Conservatory.
He wrote many works for voice and five Lyrical Dramas, among which La Fontaine de Pristina, or a government commission: Altanima, registered at the Paris Opera in 1955. The latter was premiered at the Bordeaux Grand Theatre in 1969, under Jean Entremont and with Berthe Monmart in the title-role. On this occasion, he wrote a version for the piano of the Prelude, which he dedicated to his daughter, the pianist Therese Dussaut, whose mother is the composer Helene Covatti-Dussaut.
His works also include chamber and symphonic music: Elegy and Spring, for violin and piano, Quintett, string Quartet (Rome 1925), which received the Grand Prize Jacques Durand by the Academie des Beaux Arts. With additional instruments, this work became 1st Symphony for strings (Rome 1925-26); other symphonies followed, among which a government commission.
The CD «Dussaut, Musique de Chambre» (Azur Classical label) presents works of Robert Dussaut and Hélène Covatti-Dussaut. Please visit http://www.dussaut-covatti.fr and its updates.
Robert Dussaut, a violonist by origin who played for the Orchestre de l’Opera for several years, was also one of the few musicians of his time devoting himself to acoustics. He presented communications to the scientific world (International Congress on Musical Acoustics, Marseille 1958, and French Academy of Sciences), prepared two theoretical monographs: “Enlightening the scientific bases of music” and “The harmonic conquest“. He wrote numerous articles, as well as 72 entries in the Musical Larousse Dictionary of Norbert Dufourcq, fought pitch inflation and the confusion between the different commas in scale systems. He was particularly interested by “resulting sounds”, discovered in 1750, and “conjunctional sounds”, about which he built a musical theory named “Echotechnie ». These collected papers have been donated in 2012 at the French National Library.
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