LOVELY PRESENTATION COPY, SIGNED BY 38 MUSICIANS, TO COMPOSER AND CONDUCTOR SYLVAIN DUPUIS: L’ARDENNE MYSTERIEUSE, ONE OF ONLY 100 COPIES, ILLUSTRATED IN DOUBLE-SUITE BY ALFRED MARTIN
BANNEUX, Louis. L’Ardenne Mystérieuse. Prix de Littérature de Brabant, 1925. Bruxelles: J. Lebègue & Cie., 1926. Tall octavo, original printed pictorial self-wrappers, uncut, original glassine. Housed in custom full morocco slipcase. $1650.
First edition, number 22 of only 100 copies issued, with 16 lovely woodcut-style illustrations by Alfred Martin as well as an extra suite of the illustrations. This copy signed and presented by 38 members of the staff and faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Liege to honorary director, Belgian conductor and composer Sylvain Dupuis.
Born in Liège, recipient Sylvain Dupuis was trained at the Royal Conservatory there. After graduating in 1878, he was appointed to that school’s faculty as a professor, ultimately going on to become Director in 1911. Among his notable pupils were Hubert de Blanck and Charles Houdret. Dupuis worked actively as a composer during the early part of his career, winning the Belgian Prix de Rome for his cantata Le Chant de la Création in 1879 and composing two operas in the 1880s: Moîna and Coûr d’Ognon. With his 1890 appointment to the conducting staff at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, he began to devote more of his energy to his work as an opera conductor. In 1900 he assumed the role of principal conductor at that house, where he conducted its first productions of such operas as Götterdämmerung (1891), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1902), Tosca (1904), La Damnation de Faust (1906), Madama Butterfly (1909), Elektra (1910) and Roma (1913), among others.
The work, presented to him by the faculty and staff of the conservatory at a banquet in honor of his long, loyal and fruitful career in service to the Royal Conservatory, is a collection of folktales from the heavily forested Ardennes region of Belgium and France. The presentation inscription reads: “La Direction, le Corps Professoral et l’Administration du Conservatoire Royal de Musique de Liège à son directeur honoraire: Monsieur Sylvain Dupuis, 12 Juin 1926.” Text in French. Only one copy is recorded in OCLC.