Marvin Duchow

Marvin Duchow. Musicologist, composer, administrator, teacher, b Montreal 10 Jun 1914, d there 24 May 1979; B MUS (McGill) 1937, Diploma in Composition (Curtis) 1939, BA (New York) 1942, MA musicology (ESM, Rochester) 1951, honorary D MUS (Chicago Cons) 1960.

Duchow, Marvin

Marvin Duchow. Musicologist, composer, administrator, teacher, b Montreal 10 Jun 1914, d there 24 May 1979; B MUS (McGill) 1937, Diploma in Composition (Curtis) 1939, BA (New York) 1942, MA musicology (ESM, Rochester) 1951, honorary D MUS (Chicago Cons) 1960. He studied theory 1933-7 with Claude Champagne at the McGill Cons and composition privately. He continued his studies 1937-9 at the Curtis Institute with Rosario Scalero (composition) and Samuel Chotzinoff (criticism) and 1939-42 at New York University, teaching the while at various US schools. Returning to Montreal he taught 1943-9 at the CMM and 1944-78 at McGill University, whose music department he also served as acting dean 1955-7, dean 1957-63, and chairman of the theory department 1955-63, remaining as a professor after 1963. He was a visiting lecturer in 1964 at the École Vincent-d'Indy and became a curriculum consultant to the École normale de musique in 1966. Over the years he served the CMM and the CMQ as an examiner. He was an associate editor (book reviews, 1957-62) of the Canadian Music Journal and in 1976 was appointed a member of the editorial board of Musica Judaica, the journal of the American Society for Jewish Music.

A specialist in 18th-century French music and in certain aspects of renaissance music, Duchow was one of Canada's leading musicologists and an authority on Claude Champagne. He assisted with the final revision of Gaston Allaire's book The Theory of Hexachords, Solmization and the Modal System. Generally conservative in style, his compositions display a solid craftsmanship and marked sensitivity. His Sonata for piano shows strongly the influence of Hindemith. His Three Songs of the Holocaust represent his first attempt at serialism; they were commissioned by the Canadian Jewish Congress and premiered 28 Sep 1978 by Pauline and Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt. Among his private pupils for harmony and counterpoint were Alan Belkin (whose Introduction and Fugue for Double Wind Quartet, premiered in 1979, is dedicated to Duchow), Georges Little, and Alejandro Enrique Planchart. Students in his theory courses included Kenneth Gilbert, Hugh Hartwell, Carl Little, Roger Matton, Pierre Mercure, Dorothy Morton, Wayne Riddell, and Robert Silverman. Among his history pupils were Gregory Butler, Frederick A. Hall, Jacob Siskind, Gerrit Tetenburg, Nadia Turbide and Claire Versailles. 'The Legacy: A Profile of Marvin Duchow, Canadian Musician' was broadcast on CBC radio in 1975. In 1980 the library of the Faculty of Music at McGill University was named after him. A concert titled 'In Memoriam Marvin Duchow,' featuring some of his piano and vocal works, was given 13 Sep 1984 at Pollack Hall under the sponsorship of McGill University and the Canadian Jewish Congress. A collection of Duchow's papers is held by McGill University.

Compositions

Orchestra and Chamber
Variations on a Chorale. 1936. Orch. Ms

Quartet in C Minor. 1939 ('Scherzo' and 'Andante' rev 1942). Str quartet. Ms. 2nd movement rev 1975 as Movement for Strings or Largamente. Str orch. Ms

Badinerie. 1947. Orch, piano. Ms

Writings

Marvin Duchow, 'Criticism of comic opera in the Correspondance littéraire (1753-1773),' MA thesis, ESM, Rochester 1951

'Musico-textual criticism in the Correspondance littéraire,' CMJ, vol 1, Summer 1957

'The International Conference of Composers at Stratford,' CMJ, vol 5, Autumn 1960

'Canadian music libraries: some observations,' Music Library Association Notes, 2nd series, vol 18, Dec 1960

'Conference summary,' The Modern Composer and His World, ed John Beckwith and Udo Kasemets (Toronto 1961)

'Claude Champagne,' MSc, 243, Sep-Oct 1968

See also Bibliography for Claude Champagne ('Inventories')

Piano and Organ

Seven Chorale Preludes in Traditional Style. 1939. Org. Ber 1970. (No. 2, 3, 7) 1983. Savvy S-1001 (M. Games)

Chant intime (formerly Prelude). 1947. Pf. BMIC 1947. RCI-134 (Newmark)

Sonata. 1955. Pf. CMCentre, BMIC 1961 (2nd movement Passacaglia)

Choir and Voice

Songs of My Youth, song cycle (various). 1930s (4 songs rev 1975 as A Garland of Love Songs). V, piano. Ms

For a Rose's Sake. 1938. V, piano. BMIC 1956

Motet. 1938. SATB. Ms

A Carol Choir (arr). 1943. 2, 3, 4-part choirs. Boston 1946

Three Songs of the Holocaust/ Trois Chants de l'Holocaust (German text N. Sachs). 1977. V, piano. Ms


Further Reading

  • Siskind, Jacob. 'Cataloguing a composer,' Montreal Gazette, 18 Nov 1972

    Karpman, I.J. Carmin ed. Who's Who in World Jewry (Tel Aviv 1978)

    'In memoriam - Marvin Duchow,' Music McGill, vol 6, Autumn 1979