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Vladimir Dyck

Vladimir Dyck was born on 19 March 1882 in Odessa (Ukraine). His father was a customs officer at the local port. In 1899 Vladimir Dyck moved to Paris to study music at the conservatory, and it is said that he came on a recommendation of Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. In Paris Vladimir Dyck studied under Antoine Taudou (harmony), Paul Vidal (piano accompaniment) and Charles-Marie Widor (composition). In 1910 he became naturalised Frenchman and so could participate at the Prix de Rome. In 1911 Vladimir Dyck won the "deuxieme Second Grand Pix de Rome" for his version of the cantata "Yanitza".


After his studies Vladimir Dyck worked as a piano teacher. Among his piano students were Henriette Poincare, the wife of the French president Raymond Poincare, and Henriette Caillaux, the wife of the French minister of finance Joseph Caillaux. As a composer Vladimir Dyck became active in the film industry and created music to several silent films. For these compositions he often used the pseudonym "Dri Mival".

In later years Vladimir Dyck more and more used his own Jewish origin in his compositions. Best known today is maybe his version of "Hatikva", published in 1933, a work that later became the national anthem of Israel. And Vladimir Dyck also supported other Jewish composers. Again in 1933 he founded the publishing house "Mizmor" together with Leon Algazi, which published works by Jewish composer. It was soon incorporated into Editions Salabert and continued under the series "Collection de Musique Juive".


On 30 July 1943 Vladimir Dyck and his family was arrested by the Gestapo and transported to the concentration camp in Auschwitz. There Vladimir Dyck and his family were murdered shortly afterwards.

 

In the beginning the compositions of Vladimir Dyck were conservatory-like: chamber music, symphonies, cantatas, etc and all counted with opus numbers. But he soon left this path. He composed a lot of "light music" which was published by Gallet, Hayet, Evette et Schaeffer, or Gaudet. And film music for silent movies like "Le Prince Charmant" or "Venus Astarte". All those later works don't carry an opus number. From my ressources I could create the following beginning of a work list for Vladimir Dyck, containing his more traditional compositions:

  • quartet, quintet, octet (all before 1908)
  • Piano trio op.25 (1908)
  • Orientales, for piano op.26 (1909) dedicated to Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Historiette, for piano op.28
  • Symphony No.2, for piano four-hands op.30 (1906)
  • Symphony No.1 for 10 wind instruments op.36 (1910)
  • cantata "Yanitza" (1911)

Other works are "Fetes Juives" for orchestra (1933), the song "Alsace, leve-toi" (1916), a "Berceuse hebraique" for violin and piano and much more.

In my possession are four autograph manuscripts of compositions by Vladimir Dyck. This includes two symphonies and the film music to "L'Appel" and "Nord 70° 22°".

Symphony No.1

 

The "Symphonie pour 10 instruments a vent" op.36 was composed around 1910. The work is dedicated to Andre Gedalge and - according to the manuscript - was finished in Paris in July 1910.

Curiously I found an article in the newspaper "Messidor" from 14 April 1908 that mentions a performance of a symphony by Vladimir Dyck by "La Societe moderne d'Instruments a vent" a week before. This surely refers to the Symphony No.1 and possibly marks the world premiere.

This would also fit to the fact that the last digit of the year on the title page was scratched out and a "1" squeezed in between the "19" and the "0". It is very likely that at first the year of composition was 1908 or earlier. A performance took place in 1908 and maybe Vladimir Dycck made some corrections after that in 1910.

Another curiosity is the fact that the work was originally numbered as second (2me). But this was later crossed out in red and re-numbered first (1ere).

The manuscript alsso bears the stamp of the "Societe des Auteurs, Compositeurs & Editeurs de Musique" from 5 August 1910 and has the number 141860.

Dyck_Symphony_Op36.pdf
PDF-Dokument [1.3 MB]

Symphony en Ut mineur

 

The other symphony in my possession dates from 1906 and is titled "Symphony en Ut mineur pour piano a 4 mains" op.30. It predates the Symphony No.1 and it is unclear why it was not numbered. The work is dedicated to Paul Vidal, who was the teacher for piano accompaniment of Vladimir Dyck at the Paris conservatory. The work is scored for piano 4 hands. I could not find any information for an orchestral version.

Due to the fact that Paul Vidal was the piano teacher of Vladimir Dyck there is a fair chance that this symphony was originally written for piano 4 hands and no orchestral version ever existed. Maybe that is also the reason why the symphony is not numbered, because it is a "special symphony".

Dyck_SymphonyOp30.pdf
PDF-Dokument [1.4 MB]

music for "Nord 70° 22°"

 

The documentary "Nord 70° 22°" was a film by Rene Ginet. The film is about the Romanian meteorologist Dumbrava and the French radio operator Basset who hibernated in Greenland on 70° north latitude and 22° west longitude in 1929 to study winds and Artic currents. The accompaniying music was written by Vladimir Dyck and Rene Mercier. The film was presented in 1931 and was well received. Vladimir Dyck composed two works for the film: "Le Chant de la Houle" and "Magnera" (described in the newspaper as a "midnight sun symphony").

In my possession is the composition "Le Chant de la Houle" in different version: A small orchestral version, and three different versions for piano. Some are marked "generique" which refers to the usage as lead strip or trailer.

Below one can download the score for "Le Chant de la Houle" in a piano version:

Dyck_ChantDeLaHoule.pdf
PDF-Dokument [219.5 KB]

music for "L'Appel"

 

The film "L'Appel" was produced in 1935 by Fiat Film. Fiat Film was a film production founded by the Catholic church of France in 1935 to promote their religion. It was directed by Abbe Vachet. Curiously Vladimir Dyck - as a Jew - composed music for several of their films.

"L'Appel", subtitled "Un Hymne au Sacerdoce", was realised by the "Cineastes St. Joseph" and as far as I know shot in the diocese of Arras. My manuscript is the complete film music in orchestral score. It was stamped by the "Societe des Auteurs, Compositeurs & Editeurs de Musique" on 14 April 1936.

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© Tobias Broeker