François-Bernard Mâche


François-Bernard Mâche (1935) – French composer, music theorist, university lecturer. He studied composition under Olivier Messiaen. His creative work was inspired by ancient cultures, linguistics, and natural phenomena, such as birdsong. Several theoretical texts by F. B. Mâche appeared in Polish, e.g. two Polish Radio texts: "Muzyka a język" ("Music and language", Res Facta 2), "Messiaen – doświadczenia i perspektywy" ("Messiaen – Experiences and Perspectives", Res Facta 3); and "Surrealisme et musique, remarques et gloses" (Literatura na Świecie no. 5 1978).

In 1994, François-Bernard Mâche honoured the memory of Witold Lutosławski by participating in the project Hommage à Lutosławski. In his commentary to his work Planh, Mâche wrote: "The title relates my piece to the tradition of the mediaeval planctus or the planh of the Provençal troubadours – explains the composer. The term referred to a musical expression of grief after the loss of a great man. In my work, it also refers to the universal archetype of sobbing, which served as the pattern for the long canon of rhythmic values assigned to the string orchestra. A composer who wishes to pay tribute to a master’s memory can present on his grave a piece only extrinsically related to the occasion, or else endow his work with the emotional form of a meditation on the master’s death. I have decided upon the latter, as a more natural expression of my respect and sorrow".

On February 7, 2014, at the Chain 11 festival in Warsaw, François-Bernard Mâche received the Year of Lutosławski Medal for his outstanding contribution to the dissemination of the composer’s heritage.