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  • Writer's pictureFr. Scott Haynes

Mass for Double Choir, Frank Martin

Frank Martin (September 15, 1890 – November 21, 1974) was a Swiss composer, who spent much of his life in the Netherlands. At the age of nine he had already written a few songs without external musical instruction. At 12, he attended a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion and was deeply affected by it.

Respecting his parents' wishes, he studied mathematics and physics for two years at Geneva University, but at the same time was also studying piano, composition and harmony with his first music teacher Joseph Lauber (1864–1953), a Geneva composer and by that time a leading figure of the city's musical scene.

In the 1920s, Martin worked closely with Émile Jaques-Dalcroze from whom he learned much about rhythm and musical theory. Between 1918 and 1926 Martin lived in Zurich, Rome and Paris. Compositions of this time show him searching for an authentic musical voice of his own.

In 1926 he established the Chamber Music Society of Geneva which, for the next ten years he conducted, as well as contributing on the clavichord and piano. During this period he was also teaching musical theory and improvisation at the Jaques-Dalcroze Institute, and chamber music at the Geneva Conservatory.

Live recording from the Jacobin Church (April 29, 2016) of Leeuwarden (the Netherlands). This is a co-production of the Nederlands Kamerkoor, Brava and Concerto Media for "Nederland vol koren."

Filming and editing: Concerto Media.


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