Reyer [Rey], (Louis-Etienne-)Ernest
- Hugh Macdonald
(b Marseilles, Dec 1, 1823; d Le Lavandou, Var, Jan 15, 1909. French composer and critic. His real name was Rey. Having attended a music school in Marseilles from the age of six, he was sent in 1839 to Algiers to work with an uncle, Louis Farrenc, in a government department. There he composed, without the benefit of tuition, a number of minor works, including a mass for the visit of the Duke of Aumale in 1847. In 1848 he defied his parents’ and uncle’s objections to a musical career and went to Paris, where his kinship with Aristide and Louise Farrenc was an invaluable introduction to a wide musical circle; Louise Farrenc took charge of his musical studies on an informal basis. Equally important was his early association with a number of literary figures, especially Gautier, Méry and de Cormenin, whose tastes were similar to his own. Reyer had thus had little formal musical training when ...