Guillaume LEKEU



This is the homepage of Guillaume Lekeu. He left the only famous work called the 'violin sonata' and died at the age of 24. His work is not only the 'violin sonata'. I thought that I want to make his homepage someday. It is because I think that I want to have his wonderful work to the person of the world known. The music of Guillaume Lekeu has a long melody of breath, to be common to his work. Even with the melody in hope there is. I hope his melody flows and full to hope into the present world which got confused.

From the suburbs of Tokyo

Chihiro Ichikawa



He was born in Heusy(Verviers) on January 20th 1870. At the early age of six he began to learn the rudiments
of music as well as having piano and violin lessons. In March 1879, the family moved to Poitiers where Guillaume
went to the local grammar school, continued with his piano, violin, and cello lessons and began to take a keen
interest in litterature and poetry.
About 1884 Lekeu was introduced to the works of Bach and Beethoven. This was beginning of his vocation as a
composer and as early as 1885 he was fervently writing small pieces which he took great pleasure in performing
with friends. Of Beethoven's works he preferred the Ninth Symphony and avidly read the paperbach editions of
the last Quartets. He also took a great interest in Wagner's lyrical dramas and showed a certain curiosity in several
works dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries.
In November 1888 Lekeu received his General Certificate of Education in the Arts. In the spring of 1889 he took
lessons in harmony and composed his first orchesteral work: the Introduction to Burgraves. In July and August
on a pilgrimage to Beirut, he attended performances of 'Parsifal' of 'Mastersingers' and of 'Tristan and Isolde';
Wagner's lyrical dramas influenced him greatly.
In September of that same year, Lekeu met his first great master, Cesar Franck, who taught him the written
disciplines (counterpoint, harmony, fugue...) and advised him in the composition of the prelude of Barberine,
of the Premiere Etude Symphonique, of the Trio a Clavier and of the Deuxieme Etude Symphonique on 'Hamlet'.
While staying in Verviers from February to April in 1890, Lekeu attended the first public performances of his works.
He composed ardently being encouraged as he was, but Franck died on November 8th 1890. Lekeu found himself
at a loss but his friends introduced him to Vincent d'Indy who helped to complete his development especially in the
field of orchestration. At the beginning of 1891 Lekeu wrote several works amongst which the very moving Adagio
pour Quatuor d'Orchestre.
He took part in the competition of the Prix de Rome in Bruxelles in 1891 but only obtained a second Second prix
for Andromede which the composer rightly entitled "Lyrical and symphonic poem", a term more evocative than
the name Cantata to which the piece is usually referred.
D'Indy liked the work and put the composer in contact with Octave Maus, the secretary or the 'Cercle des XX' in
Bruxelles. Thanks to Maus, several of Lekeu's works were performed during his lifetime: Andromede au Rocher,
the Trois Poemes for voice and piano and the famous Sonata pour piano et violon commissionned and performed
throughout the world by Eugene Ysaye.
Other works were also to appear: the Fantaisie sur deux Airs Populaires Angevins "a part of himself" so Lekeu
declared and the Quatuor a Clavier (unfinished). While he was composing the second movement of this piece
he died in Angers of typhoid on January 21st 1894.


Quatuor, Molto adagio, Larghetto, Adagio, Trois poemes, (harmonia mundi FRANCE)






<Some part of this page are still under construction.>
Guillaume LEKEU homepage is produced by chihiro ICHIKAWA.
NOTES : LIFE script -Luc VerdeBout -"ANDROMEDE" MW 80051

Thank you, welcome my homepage.