Thursday, January 24, 2019

Kunc, Kunc, and More Kunc

Sunday's concert has passed and John David and I have moved on to new repertoire. But I now have the piano score on my desk, and have been entering it into Finale and learning a great deal about piano writing (and about the piece!) in the process.

I have also started questioning the sparse record of the lives of the Kunc family. It seems that Pierre Kunc's younger brother Aymé Kunc did not win the "second prize alongside Maurice Ravel" in the 1902 Prix de Rome. Aymé Kunc won the first prize that year. Ravel was, according to Arbie Orenstein, a finalist, but he did not win any prizes. The second prize went to Albert Bertelin, and the third prize went to Jean Roger-Ducasse.

Aymé Kunc completed in the Prix de Rome four times before winning the Grand Prize (a generous four-year stipend and lots of fame).

Ravel won the third prize in 1901. Ravel is a household name, and Aymé Kunc remains a footnote in Ravel's biography (and a thorn in his side). Aymé's work is not yet entirely in the public domain, but there is an entry for him in the IMSLP that has two pieces.

There is an entry for Pierre Kunc (whose work is in the public domain) as well. And there's also an entry for Aloys Kunc, the father of Pierre and Aymé.

I'll go back to my engraving work now.

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