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Rene Bernier

Rene Bernier was born on 10 March 1905 in Saint-Gilles (Belgium). His parents were the two painters Geo Bernier and Jenny Hoppe. Rene Bernier studied at the Bruxelles Conservatory under Paul Gilson (composition, fugue), Charles Scharres (piano) and Francois Rasse (harmony).

After his studies Rene Bernier started a teaching career. He lectured music history and finally became professor at the conservatories in Liege and Mons. He also taught at the "Academie de Musique" in Bruxelles. Since 1945 Rene Bernier worked as an "inspecteur d'education musicale", a position he held untill 1968.

In 1925 Rene Bernier became a founding member of "Les Synthetistes" around Paul Gilson, a group that aimed to synthesize the modern Belgian music with its tradition. In 1934 he joined the Belgian society for contemporary music "La Sirene", a group that supported performances of modern Belgian music in other countries. In 1963 Rene Bernier became a member of the Royal Academy of Science, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium.
Rene Bernier died on 8 September 1984 in Ixelles (Belgium).



The work catalogue of Rene Bernier includes orchestral compositions like his Symphoniette, Ode a une Madone, Le Tombeau devant l'Escaut, Hommage a Sax for saxophone and orchestra, Menestrandie for violin and orchestra, Reverdies for clarinet and orchestra, chamber music like Sonata for flute and harp, Trio for flute, cello and harp or Humoresques for piano. Bernier also composed a lot of vocal music like the songs Entrevisions, Trois quatrains pour ma mie or Eternite. His choral works include Du coq a l'ane, Liturgies, Incantations, Sortileges ingenus, Aube fleuris and Hymne a la Paix.

In my possession is the autograph full score of the work "Incantations" by Rene Bernier. The work is subtitled "Suite chorale 'A cappella' pour voix egals" and uses texts by the Belgian poet Geo Libbrecht (1891-1976). The parts are titled: 1. La grande image de la vie, 2. Dans le souffle des roseaux, 3. Tu es pays de la lumiere, 4. Chantez pour les enfants, 5. Sur le visage d'automne, 6. De toutes les routes du monde and 7. Sur les verts canaux.

The work was published by "Editions francaises du musique" in 1955 and a recording with the Choir of the French Broadcasting under Jacques Besson was released by Pathe in 1958.


In addition to the autograph manuscript I also own a few printed scores of works by Rene Bernier. That include:

  • Sortileges ingenus, pour voix de femmes ou d'enfants et piano (Cranz)
  • Trois Chansons Mystiques, pour chant et piano (Lauweryns)
  • Presages, pour chant et piano (Cranz)
  • Entrevisions, pour chant et piano (Lauweryns)
  • Trois Interludes pour harpe (Cranz)
  • Prieres chantees, pour une voix ou choeur a l'unisson et piano ou orgue (Cranz)
  • Eternite, pour chant et piano (Lauweryns)
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