DIndy, Vincent

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

D’Indy, Vincent


(full name, Paul Marie Theodore Vincent D’Indy). Born Mar. 27, 1851, in Paris; died there Dec. 2, 1931. French composer, organist, conductor, music critic, and teacher.

D’Indy studied organ and composition under C. Franck; he subsequently championed his teacher’s ideas and became the leader of the “Franckists.” He helped found the Société National de Musique in 1871 and became its president in 1890. With C. Bordes and A. Guilmant, he founded the Schola Cantorum, a kind of conservatory, in 1896 and served as its director.

The influence of R. Wagner is apparent in D’Indy’s early works, notably the opera Fervaal (1897, Brussels), which make use of a complex philosophic and religious symbolism. At the same time, the composer’s interest in French folk music led him to write such works as the Symphony on a French Mountain Air (1886), for piano and orchestra; the Fantasy on French Folk Themes (1888), for oboe and orchestra; and several collections of folk-song arrangements.

In D’Indy’s music, mastery in the construction of expansive compositions and an inventive use of polyphony are combined with a tendency toward transparent orchestration and colorful harmonies. D’Indy composed operas, including L’Etranger (1903, Brussels), symphonies and other orchestral works, chamber music, choruses, and songs. He wrote books on such composers as Franck, L. van Beethoven, and Wagner.

An eminent teacher, D’Indy trained many composers, including G. Auric, A. Roussel, and E. Várese. He summed up his pedagogical principles in his main work, A Course in Musical Composition (with A. Sérieyx, vols. 1–4, 1903–50). D’Indy appeared as a conductor, performing chiefly his own works; he gave concerts in Russia in 1903 and 1907.


Rolland, R. “V. d’Endi.” In his Muzykanty nashikh dnei. Moscow, 1938. (Translated from French.)
Shneerson, G. Frantsuzskaia muzyka XX veka. Moscow, 1970.
Stat’i i retsenzii kompozitorov Frantsii (translation). Leningrad, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.