Maurice Delage (1879-1961)
Like his musical output, Maurice Delage’s writings are few in number. Even so, they form an interesting corpus, dominated by a correspondence of some sixty letters with artists of the highest importance—including Georges Auric, Léon Bakst, Lili Boulanger, René Chalupt, Marya Freund, Jacques Ibert, Darius Milhaud, Roland-Manuel, Igor Stravinsky, and Ricardo Vines. Delage’s main correspondent, however, was Maurice Ravel, having been one of his only composition students, and one of his closest friends since they met in the group des “Apaches” in the early 1900s. The 60-odd letters that have been preserved shed light on Delage’s point of view regarding the development of aesthetic tendencies in French music in the first half of the twentieth century.
Despite their rarity, Delage’s public writings also merit study, starting with his two articles on jazz (“La Musique de jazz”, Revue Pleyel, n° 31, 04/1926, p. 18‐20) and on Indian music (“Géographie musicale”, radio transcript from a 1948 broadcast), as well as a chronicle about Ravel published alongside others by Léon-Paul Fargue, Hélène Jourdan-Morhange, Tristan Klingsor, Roland-Manuel, Dominique Sordet, Émile Vuillermoz and Jacques de Zogheb in Maurice Ravel par quelques-uns de ses familiers (1939).
Trans. Peter Asimov
Chapter of a Book Maurice Delage (1879-1961) - "Les Premiers Amis de Ravel" - 1939