Mâche, François-Bernard (b. April 4, 1935, Clermont-Ferrand). French composer of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, piano, and electroacoustic works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as a writer.
Mr. Mâche was born into a family of musicians and began composing at age eight. He studied harmony with Émile Passani at the Conservatoire de Clermont-Ferrand and graduated with prizes in piano in 1951 and harmony in 1952. He later studied with Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where he earned the Prix de Philosophie de la Musique in 1960. In addition to music, he had studies in classical literature at the École Normale Supérieure de la Rue d'Ulm from 1955–59 and there earned a diploma in Greek archaeology in 1957 and a teaching certificate (Agrégation de Lettres classiques) in 1958. He also took ancient art classes at the Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne in 1959 and later studied in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand) in 1972.
His honors include the Prix de la Biennale de Paris (1963, for Safous Mélè, Op. 5), the Grand Prix du Disque (1971, for a recording of Danaé, Op. 21), the Prix Georges Enesco from SACEM (1973), and the Prix Italia (1977). More recently, he has received the Prix Chartier from the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1984), the Grand Prix National de la Musique (1988), the Prix Rossini from the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1998), and the Grand Prix de la Musique Symphonique from SACEM (2002) and has been a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts since 2002, where he occupies the chair left by Iannis Xenakis. In addition, he received a composition grant from the Ministère de la Culture in 1978 and was named a Docteur d'État ès Lettres et Sciences Humaines in 1980 and a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1990. More than 40 portrait concerts have been given in the Americas, Asia and Europe.
As a writer, he served as music critic of the Nouvelle revue française from 1969–78 and has written more than 100 articles, mainly on musicological subjects. His books are Musique, mythe, nature ou les dauphins d'Arion (1983, Méridiens-Klinsieck; second edition, 1991; Italian translation as Musica, mito, natura, 1992, Cappelli; English translation as Music, Myth, Nature, 1993, Harwood Academic Publishers), a collection of his articles Entre l'observatoire et l'atelier (1998, Kimé), Un demi-siècle de musique (2000, L'Harmattan), and Musique au singulier (2001, Odile Jacob). Moreover, he has made translations of modern Greek poems, including ones by Odysseus Elytis, and was the chosen editor of the books Music, Society and Imagination in Contemporary France (1993, Harwood Academic Publishers) and Portrait(s) de Xenakis (2002, Bibliothèque Nationale de France).
Mr. Mâche is also active in other positions. He produced experimental films for RTF in 1958 and was a member of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales in Paris from 1958–63, during which time he also served as a second lieutenant in Algeria from 1960–62. He worked at the electronic music studio in Gravesano in 1965, on an invitation from Hermann Scherchen, and worked in Warsaw in 1966. He produced a broadcast series for France-Musique in 1976 and served as president of the French section of ISCM from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.
He taught literature at the Collège Sévigné in 1959–60, the Lycée Marceau in Chartres in 1962–63 and the Lycée Pasteur in Neuilly-sur-Seine from 1963–68. He taught at Middlebury College and Sarah Lawrence College in 1968 and taught classical French, Greek and Latin literature at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris from 1968–83. He then taught musicology at the Université de Strasbourg from 1983–93, where he founded the Centre Primus in 1987, and served as director of studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris from 1993–97. Since then, he has lectured widely, notably throughout France and in Estonia, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Venezuela.
Éditions Durand publishes most of his music, but Éditions Salabert publishes a few pieces and many of his recent scores are unpublished.
E-mail address: email@example.com
COMPLETE LIST OF WORKS
STAGE: Coïncidences (dance music, choreography by Francine Coursange-Lancelot, instruments by Bernard Baschet, François Baschet), 1966; Canzone V, voice, 3 double basses, stage setup, Op. 19, 1969; Da capo (spectacle), 10 comedians, 3 medieval players, positive organ, 2 percussion, sound décor, tape, Op. 32, 1976; Rituel pour 'Les Mangeurs d'Ombre' (spectacle, staging by P. Barrat), 12 mixed voices (all + percussion), percussion, Op. 37, 1979 (incorporates Danaé, Op. 21); Temboctou (spectacle), 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, tenor, 3 baritones, bass, 2 medieval players, clarinet, 2 trombones, guitar, sampler, percussion, tape, Op. 47, 1982
ORCHESTRAL: La peau du silence I, moving small orchestra (7 winds, 2 pianos, 4 percussion, 17 strings), Op. 7a, 1962 (also shorter versions as La peau du silence II, moving large orchestra [110 players], Op. 7b, 1966; La peau du silence III, moving large orchestra [82 players], Op. 7c, 1970); Synergies, small orchestra (21 players), 2-/5-track tape, Op. 8, 1963; Le son d'une voix, small orchestra (15 players), Op. 11, 1964; Rituel d'oubli, small orchestra (2 flutes, 2 E-flat clarinets, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, bass trombone, 3 percussion), 2-track tape, Op. 17, 1968; Répliques, bird calls (played by each member of the audience), orchestra (12 winds, 3 percussion, 31 strings), Op. 18, 1969; Rambaramb, piano, large orchestra (85 players), 2-track tape, Op. 23, 1972; Le jonc à trois glumes, Op. 28, 1974; L'estuaire du temps, sampler, large orchestra (88 players), Op. 71, 1993; Planh (in memoriam Witold Lutosławski), 26 or more strings, Op. 72, 1994; Braises (concerto), amplified harpsichord, small orchestra (27 players), Op. 74, 1994
CHAMBER MUSIC: Duo, violin, piano, Op. 1, 1956; Canzone I, French horn, trumpet, cornet/trumpet, trombone, tuba, Op. 2a, 1957 (also longer version, Op. 2b, 1960, incorporated into film Conte; also version as Canzone II, French horn, trumpet, cornet/trumpet, trombone, tuba, Op. 9, 1963); Volumes, 7 trombones, 2 pianos, 2 percussion, 2-/4-/12-track tape, Op. 6, 1960 (also version with 4 French horns, 3 trumpets instead of 7 trombones, 1960); Canzone III, 3 trumpets, 4 trombones, Op. 15, 1967; Kemit, zarb (Iranian drum)/darabukka (Arab drum), Op. 20, 1970; Temes Nevinbür, 2 pianos, 2 percussion, 2-track tape, Op. 26, 1973; Naluan, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, 1-2 percussion, 2-track tape, Op. 27, 1974; Maraé, 6 amplified percussion, 2-track tape, Op. 29, 1974; Solstice, positive organ/tape, harpsichord, Op. 30, 1975; Kassandra, 2 oboes (2nd + English horn), clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, trumpet, 2 trombones, 2 pianos, 3 percussion, tape, Op. 33, 1977; Octuor, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, string quartet, double bass, Op. 35, 1977; Aera, 6 percussion, Op. 36, 1978; Amorgos, 2 bassoons, 2 trombones, string quartet, double bass, piano, 2 percussion (any one + electronic organ), tape, Op. 38, 1979; Toïn Theoïn, 2 clarinets, Op. 39, 1979; Sopiana, flute, piano, tape ad libitum, Op. 41, 1980; Anaphores, harpsichord, percussion, Op. 45, 1982; Phénix, vibraphone (+ 9 tom-toms), Op. 48, 1982; Aulodie, oboe/E-flat clarinet/soprano saxophone, tape, Op. 49, 1983; Iter memor, cello, sampler, Op. 53, 1985
CHAMBER MUSIC: Uncas, 2 samplers, ensemble (flute, clarinet, trombone, string quartet), tape, Op. 56, 1986; Éridan, string quartet, Op. 57, 1986; Tempora, 3 samplers, Op. 60, 1988; Figures, bass clarinet, vibraphone, Op. 63, 1989; Khnoum, sampler, 5 percussion, Op. 65, 1990; Athanor, flute, oboe, clarinet, 2 samplers, 2 violins, viola, 2 celli, Op. 69, 1991; Hiérogamie, piccolo, percussion, Op. 70, 1993; Moires, string quartet, tape, Op. 73, 1994; Ugarit, guitar, Op. 77, 1998; Brûlis, clarinet, cello, piano, Op. 79, 1999; Vectigal libens, sampler, 5 percussion, Op. 81, 2000; Les 12 Lunes du Serpent, Op. 82, 2001 (each of its two sections may be performed separately: Le Printemps du Serpent, 12 percussion [any 2 + piano], tape, Op. 82a; L'Automne du Serpent, 12 percussion [any 2 + piano], Op. 82b); Achéron, piano, percussion, Op. 85, 2002; Canopée, 2 samplers, 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 celli, double bass, Op. 87, 2003
CHORAL: Safous Mélè (cantata), alto, 8 female voices, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, harp, 4 percussion, Op. 5, 1959; Canzone IV, 5 mixed voices, Op. 16, 1968; Danaé, 12 mixed voices (all + percussion), percussion, Op. 21, 1970 (also incorporated into Rituel pour 'Les Mangeurs d'Ombre', Op. 37); Andromède, 12 mixed voices, 60 mixed voices, 3 pianos, large orchestra (88 players), Op. 40, 1979; Cassiopée, 4 mixed voices, 2 percussion, Op. 61, 1988; Cassiopée II, mixed chorus, 2 percussion, Op. 76, 1998; Heol Dall, 12 mixed voices, 2 pianos, Op. 88, 2003; Taranis (text by the composer), mixed chorus, large orchestra, Op. 91, 2005
VOCAL: Nuit blanche (text by Antonin Artaud), male speaker, 2-track tape, Op. 14, 1966 (also version without male speaker as Nuit, Op. 24); Aliunde, soprano, clarinet (+ contrabass clarinet), sampler, tablā (+ percussion), Op. 59, 1988; Trois Chants Sacrés, Op. 51, 1982–90 (each of its three sections may be performed separately: Muwatalli [text from an ancient Hittite source], mezzo-soprano/baritone [+ 3 metal plates], Op. 51a, 1984; Rasna [text from an ancient Etruscan source], mezzo-soprano, Op. 51b, 1982; Maponos [text from ancient Gaulish sources], female voice [+ low tambourine], Op. 51c, 1990); Kengir, chants d'amour sumériens, mezzo-soprano, sampler, Op. 68, 1991 (each of its five sections may be performed separately: Inanna, Op. 68a; Enlil, Op. 68b; Shusin, Op. 68c; Kubatum, Op. 68d; Dumuzi, Op. 68e); Manuel de résurrection, mezzo-soprano, 2 samplers, Op. 75, 1998; Kurunta, mezzo-soprano, tenor recorder, darabukka, Op. 83, 2001; Melanga, female voice, sampler, slendro-tuned gamelan orchestra, Op. 84, 2001; Chikop, soprano, flute (+ piccolo), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), violin, cello, piano, percussion, Op. 89, 2004
PIANO: Areg, piano 4 hands, Op. 34, 1977; Nocturne, piano, tape ad libitum, Op. 44, 1981; Styx, 2 pianos 8 hands, Op. 50, 1984; Léthè, 2 pianos 8 hands, Op. 52, 1985; Mesarthim, 2 pianos, Op. 58, 1987; Medusa, Op. 90, 2005; Les Arcadiennes (hommage à Couperin), Op. 92, 2006
ORGAN: Guntur Sari, Op. 66, 1990
HARPSICHORD: Korwar, harpsichord, 2-track tape, Op. 25, 1972; Guntur Madu, Op. 64, 1990; Ziggurat, Op. 78, 1998; La Terza Prattica (trois interludes d'après Monteverdi), Op. 86, 2003
ELECTROACOUSTIC: Prélude, 3-track tape, Op. 3, 1959; Lanterne magique, 2-track tape, Op. 4, 1959; Terre de Feu, 2-track tape, Op. 10, 1963; Soleil rugueux, 2-/4-track tape, Op. 13, 1965; Nuit, 2-track tape, Op. 24, 1971 (version of Nuit blanche, Op. 14); 4 Phonographies de l'eau, tape, Op. 42, 1980 (each of its sections may be performed separately: Regmin, Op. 42a; Ianassa, Op. 42b; Proteus, Op. 42c; Speïô, Op. 42d); Hypérion, tape, Op. 43, 1981; La traversée de l'Afrique, tape, Op. 54, 1985; Tithon, tape, Op. 62, 1989; Portrait, tape, Op. 80, 2000
FILM SCORES (DIRECTOR): Conte, 1960 (Piotr Kamler; incorporates Canzone I, Op. 2b); L'annonce faite à Marie, Op. 67, 1990 (Alain Cuny)
DIDACTIC MUSIC: Autonomie, 2 harps/piano 4 hands/marimba 4 hands/2 marimbas, Op. 46, 1982
(Last updated on April 13, 2007)