Price: $600.00

                 NEAR MINT CONDITION              

Pencil verso autographed S. Bureau of Paris (1856-1870) carte de visite photograph of the French composer, organist and Director of the Paris Conservatoire to Eulalie Dreyfus Ulmann, with a 5 bar musical quotation of an unpublished chanson, c. 1869 at the time of her wedding to painter Benjamin Ulmann.   Dubois writes an inscription in Italian, O maggio alla carima ed eccellensissima Signora Benjamino Ulmann. (Tribute to the cute and very excellent Mrs. Benjamin Ulmann.)  The song in French would appear to be unique, or not published, En si jour si charmant l'ani tié nous unis (In so charming a day, we united)

François Clément Théodore Dubois (1837-1924) was born in Rosnay in central France. Doibois announced to his parents that he wanted to become an organist at the age of ten and began study with Dissiry, the local organist in a small town near Rosnay.  His Father was a basket weaver and his Grandfather was the secretary to the Mayor of Rosnay, the Vicomte de Breuil, sponsored the young Dubois.   He attended the Paris Conservatoire and while there was the organist of the Chapel of the Invalides (1855-1858).  He commenced studies at the Paris Conservatoire in 1854 with funding from the Vicomte.  His teachers were, pianoforte, Antoine Marmontel, organ with François Benoist, harmony with François Bazin and composition with the Director of the Conservatoire, Ambroise Thomas.  Thomas took the young composer under his wing and in 1856, he won a first in harmony, 1857 a first in counterpoint and fugue, 1859 in organ and in 1861, the grand prize of them all, the Prix de Rome.  He went to Rome in 1861 and stayed at the Villa Medici for two years, becoming the Maître de Chapelle at St. Clotilde in Paris in 1863, where Cesar Franck was the titular organist. In 1867 he premiered his most important religious work on Good Friday, “Le Sept Paroles du Christ”, which is still well performed in France today.  Dubois remained there until 1869, he was appointed Maître de Chapelle at La Madeleine where Camille Saint-Saëns as the titular organist.  When Saint-Saëns left in 1877, he was appointed titular organist there.  When Antoine Elwart retired from the Conservatoire in 1871, Dubois took his place as Professor of Harmony. He also was a founding member of the Societe Nationale de Musique when it was founded this same year.  When Leo Delibes passed away suddenly in 1878, Dubois was his successor at the Conservatoire as Professor of Composition.  Also this same year, he shared the Concours Musicale prize in Paris with Benjamin Godard and his “Paradis Perdu” received its’ premiere at the expense of the City.  The prolific composer and veteran of the Franco-Prussian war, he was decorated by France with the Legion d’honneur in 1883.  When Gounod’s place at the Institut in 1894, he was elected to take his place.  Dubois’s mentor Ambroise Thomas passed away in 1896 and Dubois was appointed Director of the Conservatoire.  He remained until 1905, when he was forced to resign for political reasons. 

Dubois composed a large body of work, for the most part religious music, including oratorios, cantatas, masses, requiem masses, motets, odes, anthems and solo music for organ in the church.  On the secular side, he wrote organ works, works for organ and orchestra, chamber groups and solo instruments.  His Marche Triomphale for organ and orchestra was commissioned by Clarence Eddy for the opening of the Chicago Auditorium in 1889.  Dubois also wrote three symphonies, his operas were mostly opera comiques, but several seria as well, "La Prova di un Opera Seria", (written while in Rome during his final Prix de Rome year, 1963) "La Fiancee d'Abydos", "Le Florentin", "La Guzla de I'Emir", "Le Pain Bis", "La Farandole", "Aben-Hamet", "Xaviere", "Circe” and the ballet, "La Farandole”.  He also composed works for orchestra, overtures, marches, incidental music, tone poems and suites. For solo instruments there was a violin concerto, a piano concerto, solo works for piano, organ and a variety of configurations in chamber music. Dubois also wrote chanson which were typically published in volumes. A truly prolific composer, much of which is available on YouTube.

Dubois met Benjamin Ulmann (1829-1884) in Rome.  Ulmann won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1859 and spent 5 years there.  Ulmann was an Alsatian Jew and in 1869 he married Eulalie Dreyfus, also an Alsatian Jew and a cousin of Alfred Dreyfus from the famed “Dreyfus case”. Due to the rampant anti-Semitism in France.  It was a very big deal for a Jewish artist to win the prize.   Ulmann was considered an academic painter and spent his short life working mainly on large scale biblical painting typically commissioned by the wealthy and the government for buildings.  As such, he was rather wealthy.  Based upon the inscription and the piece itself, we expect this carte was autographed, inscribed and dedicated at the time of their wedding.  We have reviewed the published songs of Dubois and this chanson which does not appear to be unique, due to the “etc.” at the end is not published.

This is the earliest autographed photograph we have seen of Dubois.





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