Poème for Piano Quintet
Gabriel Dupont's Poème for Piano Quintet dates from 1911. It is his only large scale chamber work. In three big movements, the music shows the influence not only of the impressionists but also of Wagner. The work is dedicated to Widor. Each of the three movements has a subtitle and aptly describes the mood of the music. The opening movement, marked Sombre et Douloureux, is not quite as grim as the title implies, although it is quite serious and could not be mistaken for being light-hearted, nonetheless, there much excitement and many dramatic episodes within. The second movement, Clair et Calme, for the most part, while not exactly lyrical, is not as agitated as what has come before. The finale, Joyeux et Ensoleillé, is brighter and more genial.
Gabriel Dupont (1878 –1914) was born in Caen. He entered the Paris Conservatory where his main teachers were Jules Massenet and Charles-Marie Widor. In 1901 Dupont took second place in the prestigious Prix di Rome competition. Andre Caplet took first while Maurice Ravel finished third. Dupont's opera La Cabrera was successful both in France and Italy and he mostly concentrated on opera.