"in these performances, Les heures and La maison are surprisingly sturdy and affirmative works... they seem nourished, to a surprising degree, by late Romantic bravado, with Liszt a definite influence.... if you admire French music of the period, you’ll definitely want to hear Dupont. And this new release offers an extremely attractive way to make his acquaintance. The readings by the young Dupont expert Bo Ties are consistently compelling... They’re strong, vital, and up-tempo performances... they’re swept away by the sheer conviction we get here. I don’t want to suggest that Ties lacks subtlety—he’s extremely sensitive to color and harmonic twists... [Ties'] momentum and his ability to keep the through line [in the music] are significant benefits, as is his confident virtuosity. The set is made even more welcome by including half a dozen miniatures from his student days... The sound is excellent, too, and Ties’s detailed notes are rich and informative. A follow-up recording of Dupont’s songs is in the works—and I look forward to hearing it. In the meanwhile, this set can be warmly recommended."
Peter J. Rabinowitz, Fanfare [July/August 2019]
"Bo Ties provides a fine gateway into the composer’s sound world...Ties works wonders in moments of power and energy."
Scott Noriega, Fanfare [September/October 2019]
"[Dupont’s music is] well worth getting to know... well written, enjoyable music. Ties has invested all of his considerable pianistic talents in his first commercial recording... You [will] not be disappointed..."
Harrington, American Record Guide [May/June 2019]
"[In Les Heures Dolentes] one can hear the influence of Debussy, but also Fauré, and the whole work is characterised by his subtle melodic gift. It has also been suggested that Schumann can be regarded as an influence... I really enjoyed this entire work and wonder why I’ve never come across it before... The recorded quality is excellent, with a full-toned piano set in a pleasing acoustic... The booklet is amply detailed, both biographically and in its descriptions of the music; in short, the production values are excellent... I must be grateful for what we have, and on the strength of what I’ve heard here I have ordered CD’s of his most ambitious opera, Antar."
Jim Westhead, MusicWeb International [May 2019]
[ * * * * ] "The expressive potential of the piano is immense – and this sometimes becomes especially clear in piano music with which listeners are not already highly familiar. That would certainly include the piano works of Gabriel Dupont, offered by Bo Ties on a new 2-CD release from MSR Classics that is a pleasure on multiple levels: for the quality of the playing, the quality of the music, and the delight of discovery... Dupont’s music is in many ways a wonderful discovery, resembling in some elements the works of other “salon composers” of his time, such as Cécile Chaminade, but in Dupont’s case with enough overtly personal expressiveness to make his piano pieces quite pleasantly distinctive."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [April 2019]
"This 2-CD set of Dupont, nicely played by pianist Bo Ties, maps out a world of great interest to the devotee of early Modernism. Early death or late, what matters is the music of course... It is a good deal of music to hear and it is good music... What stands out in this music is the lyric charm, the very French proto-Modern atmospherics, at times very much in a pioneeringly Impressionist mode, other times as tumultuously cascading Romanticism slightly closer to the edge than perhaps a Rachmaninoff... The performances are quite nice, the sound is very good. Above all, though, this is music one can and no doubt should come to know via this rewarding two-CD set. I could wax on but instead I will suggest you listen--and discover for yourself what is going on here. Bravo."
Grego Applegate Edwards [April 2019]
PROGRAM NOTESClick HERE to download a fascinating article on Gabriel Dupont.
Upon hearing the music of Gabriel Dupont for the first time, many have asked, “How is it possible this music is not well known?” The answer is unclear, but hopefully, that question itself becomes irrelevant as Dupont is restored in our memories as one of the great composers. To be sure, Dupont was seen as a rising star during his lifetime. His works were performed regularly and were largely enjoyed by the public. His opera, La Glu, was hailed to be the next Carmen. Yet he was a victim of tragic circumstance that nearly led to him being relegated as a historical footnote: he was stricken by a relentless illness that led to an early death at age 36, the very day France mobilized for World War I. Were it not for the work of a few scholars and musicians in recent years, Dupont would likely not be known at all.
The music of Gabriel Dupont is finally beginning to receive the recognition it deserves, thanks in no small part to the efforts of scholars like Phillipe Simon and Emmanuel Sauvlet, and musicians like Daniel Blumenthal (the first pianist to record Les Heures dolentes, in 1987) and Marie-Catherine Girod (the first pianist to record La Maison dans les dunes, in 1997). Interest in Dupont’s life and music has been slowly but steadily growing, and I humbly offer this recording as my contribution to the discovery of his work. Those interested in hearing more of Dupont’s output should explore his wonderful Poème for piano quintet, his intimate mélodies, and his operas. To date, there are no recordings of his orchestral pieces.
Although fate might have conspired that Dupont’s music should be forgotten in the 20th century, each person who has come to know Dupont’s music understands its supreme quality: it is profoundly human. The highest hopes, the deepest fears and the greatest joys and pains of life are fully expressed in his work. For Dupont, pain can be beautiful and beauty can be sad – yet each moment is a gift. We would be wise to follow Dupont’s example, that no matter the circumstances of life, we strive to do our best in the time we have been given.
Bo Ties (pronounced teece) has had an unorthodox musical education. Originally from southeastern Minnesota, he took piano lessons from an early age until the eighth grade, never really delving too deeply into classical music. After a four year hiatus from lessons, during which he played for his own enjoyment, Ties decided he needed to be a pianist. He began his formal training in classical music as a college freshman and never looked back. Being exposed to the works of Claude Debussy as a freshman opened up an exciting world of opportunities and sparked his intense admiration for French piano music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance at Winona State University studying with Dr. Deanne Mohr, then moving south to complete his Master’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Iowa. Continuing on there to the doctoral program, he studied with Dr. Uriel Tsachor, and completed a DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy in May 2018. Ties is highly active as a teacher, performer and is a strong advocate for the music of Gabriel Dupont.
PROGRAMGABRIEL DUPONT (1878-1914)
LES HEURES DOLENTES (1903-05)
II. Le soir tombe dans la chambre
III. Du soleil au jardin
IV. Chanson de la pluie
V. Après-midi de dimanche
VI. Le médecin
VII. Une amie est venue avec des fleurs
VIII. La chanson du vent
IX. Au coin du feu
XI. La mort rôde
XII. Des enfants jouent dans le jardin
XIII. Nuit blanche – Hallucinations
LA MAISON DANS LES DUNES (1907-09)
I. Dans les dunes, par un clair matin
II. Voiles sur l’eau
III. La maison du souvenir
IV. Mon frère le Vent et ma soeur la Pluie
V. Mélancolie du bonheur
VI. Le soleil se joue dans les vagues
VII. Le soir dans les pins
VIII. La bruissement de la mer, la nuit
IX. Clair d’étoiles
DEUX AIRS DE BALLET (1895)
FEUILLETS D’ALBUM (1897)
IV. Air à danser