Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur

Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur, known often simply as Daniel-Lesur (November 19, 1908 - July 2, 2002) was a French organist and composer. His mother, Alice Lesur, was an accomplished composer in her own right; some of her music was even published. Daniel-Lesur was a student of Charles Tournemire. In 1935, Daniel-Lesur became a professor of counterpoint at the Schola Cantorum under its new director, Nestor Lejeune. The following year he co-founded the group La Jeune France along with composers Olivier Messiaen (with whom he would remain a lifelong friend), Andre Jolivet and Yves Baudrier, who were attempting to re-establish a more human and less abstract form of composition. La Jeune France developed from the avant-garde chamber music society La spirale, formed by Jolivet, Messiaen, and Daniel-Lesur the previous year. Daniel-Lesur also served as director of the Opera National de Paris from 1971 to 1973.

Perhaps his most famous work is the colossal "Le Cantique des Cantiques," a setting, for twelve unaccompanied voices, of parts of the Song of Songs interspersed with Latin verses and appropriate New Testament texts. The seventh (and last) movement, titled "Epithalame," utilizes "the combination of richly harmonised upper voices singing the famous words from Chapter 8 of the Song of Songs in French (Pose-moi comme un sceau sur ton coeur, comme un sceau sur ton bras. Car l'amour est fort comme la Mort) over an ostinato set to Latin words (Veni sponsa Christi) [which] has very great cumulative power, reaching a mighty twelve-part climax where all the voices sing a succession of Alleluias which initially emerge from the complex texture in a repeated motif coloured by the Lydian mode an idea which seems to suggest the joyous pealing of bells."

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1937 Pastorale 4.00 stars LP
Daniel-Lesur Comments:
For seven instruments and strings

Orchestre de chambre de L'ORTF cond. Edouard Lindenberg

1943 Variations pour piano et orchestre à cordes 4.00 stars LP
Daniel-Lesur Comments:
Nadia Tagrine - Piano

Orchestre de chambre Jean-François Paillard cond. Jean François Paillard

1952 Cantique des Cantiques 4.50 stars CD
Comments:
The Sixteen cond. harry Christophers
1954 Serenade pour orchestre à corde 4.00 stars LP
Daniel-Lesur Comments:

Orchestre de chambre de L'ORTF cond. Edouard Lindenberg

1958 Symphonie de danses 4.00 stars LP
Daniel-Lesur Comments:

Orchestre de chambre de L'ORTF cond. Edouard Lindenberg