Déodat de Séverac & Musical Regionalism in La Belle Époque

Piano Recital by Jason CutmoreLecture by Robert F. Waters

Séverac’s music is “exquisite and rich with ideas”
– Claude Debussy

Lecture Abstract

What was considered to be “French” or “Spanish” in art music produced in France during the time of Debussy? And what was considered “regional?” Was the music of Debussy and Ravel typical of the time? Robert Waters delves into French art music, specifically French regionalism—an aesthetic that is rarely addressed today, yet prominent at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Composers discussed include Déodat de Sévérac, whose Catalan-based Suite Cerdaña: Cinq Etudes Pittoresque, evokes peninsular locales, cities, festivals, songs, and dances in much the same way that Albéniz accomplished this in Iberia, completed the same year in which Séverac began composing Cerdaña.

Piano Music of Déodat de Séverac


Baigneuses au Soleil (Souvenir de Banyuls-sur-mer)
Scène des Champs (Pastorale)
Les Naides et le faune Indiscret (Danse Nocturne)
Deuxième Impromptu dans le caratère romantique
Pipperment-get, Valse brillante de concert

* * *

Cerdaña (Cinq études pittoresque pour le piano)

En Tartane
Les Fêtes
Ménétriers et Glaneuses
Les Muletiers devant le Christ de Llivia
Le Retour des Muletiers

Navarra (by I. Albeniz, completed by Séverac)

Dr. Robert Waters is Assistant Professor of Music at Seton Hall University. His book entitled “Déodat de Séverac: Musical Identity in fin de siècle France” was published in 2008, and he did editing work for the Center for Studies in 19th Century Music on the French text of The Music Criticism of Hector Berlioz, a project undertaken in conjunction with the Paris Conservatoire. He is currently working on two books for Cambridge University Press in his second area of interest, twentieth century American opera. Dr. Waters has presented papers and given talks at various universities and conservatories in Greece, Australia, England, Scotland, France, and throughout the United States. Waters was also a contributing writer for the Washington Post for 10 years for which he wrote over 130 articles.

Jason Cutmore has performed piano recitals and collaborative concerts throughout North America, Europe and India. In 2005, he made his Chicago recital debut in the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts with an all-Liszt programme that was heard live on WFMT radio and broadcast on television. Since then he has returned twice to the Hess series, and has performed in Canada’s Elora, Music Niagara, and Colours of Music festivals, Los Angeles’ “Sundays Live” series, Calgary’s “Celebrity Series,” as well as at venues in New York City, San Francisco, Toronto, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Edmonton, and elsewhere in North America. His concert performances, and an ardent interest in foreign travel, have frequently taken him abroad to Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, and India, including appearances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Bombay, and the Franz Liszt Museum in Budapest. Currently based in a New York City suburb, Jason Cutmore is originally from Edmonton, Canada, and serves as the Executive and Artistic Director of Alberta Pianofest. Please visit www.JasonCutmore.com for more information.


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