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Charles Duquesnoy

This project examines the collection of autographic manuscripts by Charles Duquesnoy (Beuzet (?), 1759-Brussels, 1822), which are conserved in the library of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp. These are 23 manuscripts that were purchased in 1925 by Jules Boelaerts, administrator-secretary of the conservatory, for the conservatory library.

A first reading of some of the scores stored in the conservatory library shows that Duquesnoy was undoubtedly a talented composer. His opera Le prix des arts shows a melodic talent, a sense of drama and great attention for a correct text placement and elements that are reminiscent of André-Modeste Grétry. That a correct prosody was not always evident at that time, the many writings prove this problem, which appeared in those days. One of the many examples: in his Mémoires, ou Essais sur la musique from 1789 Grétry extensively addresses this problem and points out his mistakes to prosody in his contemporaries.

The aim of the project is to reconstruct the biography of Charles Duquesnoy; preparing a definitive opus list; studying, analyzing and evaluating the compositions; the publication of one or more representative works; performing this unknown music.

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