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Vincent d'Indy

Vincent d'Indy was born 27 March 1851 in Paris (France) into an aristocratic family. His mother died in childbirth and so he was raised by his paternal grandmother. She was an amateur pianist, student of Johann Peter Pixis and Friedrich Kalkbrenner, and so Vincent d'Indy learned the piano from an early age, first by his grandmother, later by Antoine Francois Marmontel and Louis Diemer. At the age of 14 he studied harmony with Albert Lavignac. Vincent d'Indy attended no public school and was taught privately. He made his graduation in 1869, then served his military service in the 1870/71 Franco-Prussian War. After the war Vincent d'Indy became a disciple of Cesar Franck who taught him composition and was his main mentor. From 1873 to 1875 he also attended the organ class of Cesar Franck at the Conservatoire de Paris.


Vincent d'Indy's compositional activities started seriously in the time of his baccalaureate. His first Symphony was already performed 1872 at the Concerts Pasdeloup, the overture "Les Piccolomini" two years later at the same concert series. Beside his work as a composer Vincent d'indy worked as an organist at Saint-Leu-La-Foret and as a choir master at the Concerts Colonne. He became the president of the National Music Society in 1890, succeeding Cesar Franck. In 1894 he founded the Schola Cantorum in Paris together with Charles Bordes and Alexandre Guilmant. Vincent d'Indy became its director in 1904 and taught there until his death. Among his best known students are Isaac Albeniz, Joseph Canteloube, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaus, Albert Roussel, Erik Satie and Edgar Varese.


The compositional output of Vincent d'Indy consists of more than 100 works, stopping at opus 105. Among his works are orchestral compositions, operas, vocal and chamber music.

Vincent d'Indy's life and work as a composer and teacher had an immense impact on the French musical life and development and so manifests his outstanding and dominant position in the fin de siecle.


Vincent d'Indy died on 02 December 1931 in Paris.

Andante pour piano et violon

The "Andante pour piano et violon" by Vincent d'Indy consists of 120 measures, more challenging to the pianist what maybe is the reason for the order of the instruments in the title. The work has a duration of around 4 minutes and is missing in all work catalogues of Vincent d'Indy. For that reason the Andante is unpublished so far and is presented here for the first time in history. No performance of the work could be traced, hence it awaits its world premiere.


The "Andante pour piano et violon" was composed most likely in the year 1876. The inscription at the end of the autograph manuscript shows the following date in Roman numerals (see picture on the right). The penned year fits best to 1876, which should read "C|Ɔ|ƆCCCLXXVI". Curiously Vincent d'Indy wrote "LL" or "VL" in the middle of the code, which both is incorrect in Roman numeral writing.


To prove that this composition and handwriting is by Vincent d'Indy I checked some documents and found an interesting picture (see below) of the final page of the autograph manuscript of "Fervaal", an opera composed between 1889 and 1895 by Vincent d'Indy.

The picture on the left was published in the biography "Vincent d'Indy" by Joseph Canteloube (published 1951 by Editions Henri Laurens, photo on plate 6 between page 48 and 49):


The picture shows clearly the same characteristic and unique signature "V.I" with the swinging connection of the letters as well as the distinctive writing of the year of composition in Roman numerals below. That shows my manuscript is an autograph by Vincent d'Indy.

The autograph manuscript bears also a dedication to Jean Bernis on the title page: "a mon cher camarade Bernis, mieux vaut tard que jamais" (to my fellow Bernis, better late than never) and the owner stamp of Jean Bernis.

Jean Bernis was a French violinist and violist. He was born 10 March 1857 in Paris and died there 27 December 1889. During his lifetime Jean Bernis was a noted musician. He premiered the revised version of the piano quartet No. 1 op.15 by Gabriel Faure on 5 April 1884 with Auguste Lefort, Jules Loeb and Gabriel Faure. Composer Theodore Dubois dedicated his "Cantabile for viola and piano" (1886) to Jean Bernis. Today he is virtually forgotten and no further biographical information could be found.

Vincent d'Indy composed little for violin and piano. His work catalogue only mentions the famous Violin sonata op.59 (1904), an important contribution to the French repertoire and still performed nowadays. There is more chamber music with violin (his 3 eminent string quartets for example), but no other composition for violin and piano. This fact makes the release of this composition most fascinating.

Below you can find the score of the composition. There are two versions. The first version is the typeset score that I created from the autograph manuscript. It is a pdf-file and can be downloaded free of charge. A second, special facsimile edition can be found at the very end of the page.

PDF-Dokument [7.7 MB]

The Andante meanwhile received its world premiere performance and recording by violinist Gaëtane Prouvost and pianist Eliane Reyes:

fascimile edition

For those interested in the original handwriting there is this special facsimile edition. You can buy a book with full colour prints of all pages of the autograph from front cover to verso with all included pages. The pages were scanned in high resolution and so the book allows to see all original markings and give an authentic impression. The format is DIN A4 and the book comes with solid cardboard covers, metal spiral binding and high quality paper.

d'Indy: Andante (facsimile edition)
49,00 EUR

Facsimile edition of the "Andante" by Vincent d'Indy.

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© Tobias Broeker