Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition


(1857- ), French musical composer, was born in Paris. His parents were devoted to music, and he was brought up to play the 'cello, being educated at the Paris Conservatoire. He played in Pasdeloup's orchestra, and soon began to compose, writing a cantata, Geneviève de Paris, at an early age. In 1884 his Ouverture héroïque was performed, followed by the choral symphonies, Léda (1884), La Belle au bois dormant (1886) and Penthésilée. But he is best known as a dramatic composer. In 1887 his first opera, Kérim, was produced; and in 1891 his successful opera Le Rêve, with a libretto founded on Zola's story. Another subject from Zola resulted in the opera L'Attaque du moulin (1893), and libretti by Zola himself were written for his next operas Messidor (1897) and L'Ouragan (1901). Among Bruneau's other works may be mentioned his Requiem (1896), and his two collections of songs, Lieds de France and Chansons à danser. He was decorated with the Legion of Honour in 1895. His musical criticisms, published in several volumes, are remarkable for literary quality and vigour.

See Arthur Hervey's volume on Bruneau (1907).