Decoust, Michel

Born in 1936, bathed in music from his early childhood, Michel Decoust committed himself entirely to it as a career in the late 50s. In an itinerary marked by all kinds of dualities, he was first confronted by that facing all European art music at the time: whether or not to compose serial music, whether or not to claim allegiance to an avant-garde. Decoust in fact both circumvented and mastered the alternatives, as he was both a winner of the Prix de Rome (1963) and the cause of an æsthetic scandal following the performance of an experimental work with atomised sounds, written for the Orchestre National and .rst performed in Royan Cathedral in 1967.

After hesitating between composition and conducting, he ultimately leads front the two businesses, the second until the 80. In 1973 he founded the Pantin Conservatory with Irène Jarsky and Martine Joste, after having taken part, at the behest of Marcel Landowski, in the foundation of the Orchestre des Pays de la Loire (1967 - 1971).

In 1975 he was invited by Pierre Boulez to direct the teaching department of IRCAM (where he was more interested in the search for new tools of analysis and pedagogy than in computers per se). He subsequently returned to the Ministry of Culture where he brought together and supported very many research studios. In this way Michel Decoust is the federator of two worlds, as if his own æsthetic path (leading from classical conservatory training to thoroughly conceptual music and then to a veritable liberation from all æsthetic diktats) thereby found its justification.

Defining himself as an “entrepreneur” and “builder”, Michel Decoust could only refuse any kind of exclusion and spirit of faction: in his early days, the concerts of the Domaine Musical and of French radio attracted him in equal measure. Forty years on he composed his first opera, without disowning any of his earlier stages - the voice indeed being one of his preferred areas of musical creation.

His works since 2005:

Poussière de souffle (2015)
for five a cappella singers (SATBarB)
Editions Salabert - On purchase

Et la lumière encore (2010)
for solo soprano & baritone, mixed choir & instrumental ensemble
extract of texts from Ovide and Victor Hugo
1.1.1.1  — 1.0.0.0  — cordes
Editions Salabert - On hire

Concerto pour cor et orchestre (2006)
2.2.2.2  — 2.2.2.0  — timb - perc - hp  — 14.14.12.10.8
Editions Salabert - On hire

Cent Phrases pour éventails (2005)
chamber version for Soprano, Tenor, horn, cello & piano
text from Paul Claudel
Editions Salabert - On hire

Erik Satie's works he orchestrated:

Sports et Divertissements (2012)
for chamber orchestra
Editions Salabert - On Hire

Embryons desséchés (2012)
for chamber orchestra
Editions Salabert - On Hire

Avant dernières pensées (2012)
for chamber orchestra
Editions Salabert - On Hire

Les Pantins dansent (2012)
for chamber orchestra
Editions Salabert - On Hire

Les Trois valses distinguées du précieux dégoûté (2012)
for chamber orchestra
Editions Salabert - On Hire

Véritables Préludes flasques (pour un chien) (2012)
for chamber orchestra
Editions Salabert - On Hire

Trois Nouvelles enfantines (2012)
for chamber orchestra
Editions Salabert - On Hire

Heures séculaires et instantanées (2012)
for chamber orchestra
Editions Salabert - On Hire

Descriptions automatiques (2012)
for chamber orchestra
Editions Salabert - On Hire

Croquis et agaceries d'un gros bonhomme en bois (2012)
for chamber orchestra
Editions Salabert - On Hire

Vieux Séquins et vieilles cuirasses (2012)
for chamber orchestra
Editions Salabert - On Hire

Chapitres tournés en tous sens (2012)
for chamber orchestra
Editions Salabert - On Hire


Michel Decoust

Copyright © Jean-Baptiste Millot / Editions Durand

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Commercial use strictly prohibited. The reproduction rights for regular commercial practice must be imperatively subjected at the authorization of the photographer, Jean-Baptiste Millot.

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