Dukas – Fanfare ‘La Peri’

Composer: Paul Dukas (1865-1935)
Duration: a. 2 minutes
Price: £15
Grade: 5-7
Instrumentation: Brass Quintet

Penned as a request for Kensington Brass’ 2024 wedding season, this fantastic and well-known fanfare was originally written for a large brass ensemble to precede Dukas’ acclaimed ballet.

Paul Dukas spent his entire life in Paris as a greatly respected teacher and composer. He studied at the Paris Conservatory and was a close friend of fellow student Claude Debussy, whose influence is heard in much of Dukas’ music. He was extremely critical of his own music to the point of destroying most of his works. 

Later in his life, he was appointed professor of composition at the Paris Conservatoire where he had significant influence on many young students who eventually became famous French composers, including Yvonne Desportes and Olivier Messaien. Dukas was considered one of the most insightful and sensitive critics of his time and held the respect and admiration of many fellow composers; he even worked collaboratively with Camila Saint-Saens to complete an unfinished opera by Guiraud.

In 1912, as a means to give the typically noisy audiences of the day time to settle into their seats, Dukas wrote The Fanfare from La Perí as a last-minute addition, a prelude, for the premier performance of the ballet La Perí. This was the last of his works that he allowed to be published.