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date: 20 August 2019

Calvocoressi, Michel-Dimitrilocked

  • Gerald Abraham

Extract

(b Marseilles, Oct 2, 1877; d London, Feb 1, 1944). Critic and musicologist of Greek parentage, French birth and English adoption. Calvocoressi studied classics at the Lycée Janson de Sailly, Paris, and entered the law faculty but soon abandoned law to study harmony with Xavier Leroux at the Conservatoire. Here he formed a lifelong friendship with Ravel. In 1902 he embarked on a career as critic and also as music correspondent of English, American, German and Russian periodicals. He was a remarkable polyglot, and from 1904 he specialized in the translation of song texts, opera librettos and books – ultimately from languages as unfamiliar as Russian and Hungarian, and into both French and English. He also began to champion Russian music, particularly Musorgsky's, but his earliest book was on Liszt. From 1905 to 1914 he lectured at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Sociales, mainly on contemporary music. Calvocoressi was principal French adviser to Diaghilev when the latter was introducing Russian orchestral music, opera and ballet to Paris (...

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A. Lavignac and L. de La Laurencie, eds.: Encyclopédie de la musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire
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