Vincent d'Indy
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When’s the last time you heard a piece of music by Vincent d’Indy?

Never is a perfectly acceptable answer.

What if I told you there was a chance to hear this overlooked French composer on Sunday the 29th at the Mingei?

Still not interested? Is there any interest in who d’Indy was and what he wrote?

I, for one, am interested, so here we go.

Vincent d’Indy was a part of the Wagner cult that sprang up in Paris after the premiere of Tannhauser in 1861. That performance of Tannhauser so upset the Parisian establishment that it would be over 20 years before another of Wagner’s operas would be officially produced--and yet the kerygma persisted.

Behind closed doors in darkened rooms, young aficionados would explore piano reductions of Wagner’s scores. They would imbibe his writings and philosophies and a French delegation journeyed to the temple of Bayreuth for the inaugural production of the complete Ring Cycle.

Vincent d’Indy was one of the French element in the audience. As Sigfried was killed and during the following funeral march in Götterdämmerung, d’Indy began to weep uncontrollably.

Who hasn’t been there?

Never is not a perfectly acceptable answer.

d’Indy never lost his love and admiration for Wagner as the musical world became immersed in Schoenberg and the atonality of avant garde 20th Century-ism. d’Indy did not find any merit whatsoever in that style of music.

There is an opinion that a slew of late 19th and early 20th Century composers have been overlooked because they remained Wagnerian and that it is time for them to take their turn in the concert hall. Vincent d’Indy is one of these composers.

I am happy and excited that d’Indy is on this program at the Mingei. The piece being performed is not d’Indy’s most popular but it’s a start for San Diego audiences. We can only hope to hear his Symphony on a French Mountain Air sometime in the near future by one of our orchestras.

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