Maurice Delage

Maurice Charles Delage[1] (13 November 1879 – 19 or 21 September 1961)[1] was a French composer and pianist.

Maurice Delage 1912


Delage was born and died in Paris. He first worked as a clerk for a maritime agency in Paris, and later as a fishmonger in Boulogne. He also served for a time in the French army, before embarking on a music career in his twenties.[2] A student of Ravel, who proclaimed him one of the supreme French composers of his day,[3] and member of Les Apaches, he was influenced by travels to India and Japan in 1912, when he accompanied his father on a business trip.[4] Ravel's "La vallée des cloches" from Miroirs was dedicated to Delage.

Delage's best known piece is Quatre poèmes hindous (1912–1913).[5] His Ragamalika (1912–1922), based on the classical music of India, is significant in that it calls for prepared piano; the score specifies that a piece of cardboard be placed under the strings of the B-flat in the second line of the bass clef to dampen the sound, imitating the sound of an Indian drum.

Selected worksEdit

Poèmes symphoniques
  • Conté par la mer (1908)
  • Les Bâtisseurs de ponts (1913) after Rudyard Kipling
  • Overture to Ballet de l'avenir (1923)
  • Contrerimes (1931), orchestration of pieces for piano
  • Bateau ivre (1954) after the poem by Arthur Rimbaud
  • Cinq danses symphoniques (1958)
Chamber music
  • String quartet (1949)
  • Suite française for string quartet (1958)
Mélodies (voice and piano)
  • Trois mélodies (1909)
  • Ragamalika, chant tamoul (1914)
  • Trois poèmes (1922)
  • Ronsard à sa muse (1924)
  • Les Colombes (1924)
  • La Chanson de ma mie (1924)
  • Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1924)
  • Sobre las Olas (1924) on a poem by Jean Cocteau
  • Toute allégresse (1925) on a poem by Paul-Jean Toulet
Mélodies (voice with instrumental ensemble)
  1. Préface du Kokinshū (tanka by Ki no Tsurayuki), dedicated to Mrs. Louis Laloy ;
  2. Les herbes de l’oubli…, dedicated to Andrée Vaurabourg (future spouse of Arthur Honegger) ;
  3. Le coq…, dedicated to Jane Bathori (première performer of the work) ;
  4. La petite tortue…, dedicated to Mrs. Fernand Dreyfus (the mother of Roland-Manuel) ;
  5. La lune d’automne…, dedicated to Suzanne Roland-Manuel (the spouse of Roland-Manuel) ;
  6. Alors…, dedicated to Denise Jobert (the daughter of the editor) ;
  7. L’été…, dedicated to Georgette Garban.
  • Deux fables de La Fontaine (1931), Le Corbeau et le Renard, and La Cigale et la Fourmi
  • Trois chants de la jungle (1934) after Kipling
  • In morte di un samouraï (1950) on a collection of haïkaïses and tankas by Pierre Pascal
  • Trois poèmes désenchantés (1955)
Music for solo piano
  • Schumann... (1918)
  • Contrerimes (1927)


  1. ^ a b Randel, D. M. (1986). Harvard Music Dictionary.
  2. ^ M D Calvocoressi (1933) Musicians gallery; music and ballet in Paris and London, Faber and Faber Ltd, London OCLC 2535873
  3. ^ "Program notes", Contemporary Directions Ensemble, Concert, University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance Miscellaneous Publications (1980)
  4. ^ Jann Pasler (1986) Confronting Stravinsky: Man, Musician, and Modernist, p.278, University of California Press ISBN 978-0-52005-403-5
  5. ^ Georges Jean-Aubry (1917) An Introduction to French Music, p.67, Cecil Palmer & Hayward, London


  • Pasler, Jann (2000). "Race, Orientalism, and Distinction in the Wake of the 'Yellow Peril'." In Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music, ed. Georgina Born and David Hesmondhalgh. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press.

External linksEdit