A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Dubois, Clément

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DUBOIS, Clément François Théodore, born at Rosney (Marne), Aug. 24, 1837, came to Paris at an early age, and entered upon a brilliant course of study at the Conservatoire, where he gained successively first prizes for harmony, fugue, and organ, and finally, in 1861, under Ambroise Thomas, the Prix de Rome. On his return from Italy in 1866 he devoted himself to teaching, and was appointed maître de chapelle of Ste. Clotilde, where, on Good Friday, 1867, he produced an important and carefully written work, 'Les Sept Paroles du Christ,' afterwards performed at the Concerts Populaires in 1870. It has since been given in other churches on Good Friday, and parts of it have been performed at the Concerts du Conservatoire. Being unable to force an entrance into the great musical theatres, he contented himself with producing, at the Athénée, a pleasing little work, 'La Guzla de l'Emir' (April 30, 1873). In 1878 he carried off, together with B. Godard, the prize at the Concours Musical instituted by the city of Paris, and his 'Paradis perdu' was performed, first at the public expense (Nov. 27, 1878), and again on the two following Sundays at the Concerts du Châtelet. His other dramatic works for the stage are, 'Le Pain bis' (Opéra-Comique, Feb. 26, 1879); 'La Farandole,' ballet (Opéra, Dec. 14, 1883); and 'Aben-Hamet,' a grand opera (Théâtre Italien de la place du Châtelet, Dec. 16, 1884). The above are his chief works, but Dubois is a fertile composer, and has produced many important compositions at various concerts, not to mention his numerous pieces for piano, his single songs, and his church and chamber music. We may refer to his 'Divertissement' and 'Pièces d'Orchestre' (Concert national, April 6 and Dec. 14, 1873), a 'Suite d'Orchestre' (Do. Feb. 8, 1874), 'Scènes Symphoniques' (Concerts du Châtelet, Nov. 25, 1877), and his Overture 'Fritiof' (Do. Feb. 13, 1881). The last of these, a work full of life and accent, ranks, together with his two small operas, among his best compositions. He possesses a full knowledge of all the resources of his art, but little originality or independence of style. For some time he was maître de chapelle at the Madeleine, and is now organist there, having replaced Saint-Säens in 1877. He succeeded Elwart as professor of harmony at the Conservatoire, in 1871, and in 1883 was decorated with the Legion of Honour.

[ A. J. ]