(bSaint-Germain-en-Laye, 26 July 1900; d Epinal, 2 Sept 1979). French pianist and teacher, son of Henry Février. He studied with Edouard Risler and Marguerite Long at the Paris Conservatoire, receiving a premier prix in 1921. He was a champion of modern French music and a friend of the group Les Six. In 1932 he gave the first performance of Poulenc’s Concerto for two pianos with the composer (they later recorded the work), and in 1937 he was chosen by Ravel to be the first French pianist to perform the Concerto for the left hand in France and the USA. From 1952 to 1957 he was a professor of chamber music at the Paris Conservatoire. His crisply rhythmic touch and temperamentally reserved approach made him an ideal interpreter of much of the French music that he recorded, including major works of Poulenc and Debussy, Satie’s Trois morceaux en forme de poire (which he recorded both with Poulenc and Auric) and Ravel’s complete piano music (which won a Grand Prix du Disque in 1963).
‘Exigences de Ravel’, Revue internationale de musique, nos.5–6 (1939), 892–4
C. Timbrell: French Pianism (White Plains, NY, and London, 1992, 2/forthcoming)
Février [Febvrier], Pierre
(b Abbeville, 21 March 1696; d Paris, 5 Nov 1760). French organist and composer. He was the eldest son of the organist Pierre Febvrier (1669–1706) and Marie-Anne Lescouvette. He succeeded his father as organist of St Vulfran in Abbeville on 7 February 1707 but did not assume the duties of the position until 1 November 1714. About the same time he was also appointed organist of Ste Catherine, Abbeville, again succeeding his father. In September 1720 he left Abbeville and settled in Paris, where he replaced Jean Landrin as organist of the convent of the Jacobins, on the site of the present Marché St Honoré, from July 1721 until his death. From 8 March 1732 until his dismissal on 27 December 1740 he was organist of the collegiate church of Ste Opportune. At the same time, according to Maupoint, he acted as deputy for Louis Garnier and then for Landrin at St Roch, and for Jérôme de La Guerre at the Ste Chapelle. Finally, he was organist of the Jesuit College of Louis-le-Grand. On 18 March 1736 and 8 December 1741, motets of his were performed at the Concert Spirituel. He dedicated his cantata Le rossignolto the Countess de La Marck, to whom he had probably given harpsichord lessons. After his death, the guardianship of his younger daughter, Cécile Anne, was entrusted to the organist Charles Noblet.
Février's surviving works – all, apparently, composed between about 1734 and 1741 – bear witness to a training and to attitudes unusual among French organists of his generation. There is a quality of earnestness, of care taken, which is absent from the music of his lesser colleagues and is concealed by the elegant artifice of his greater ones. Two of the suites begin with fugues (Marpurg wrote of ‘schöne Fugen auf Händelische Art’), very nearly the only ones in French harpsichord music. The motifs of the allemande La magnanime are subjected to a kind of calculated manipulation quite alien to ordinary French practice. Elsewhere, the textures are enriched by the movement of inner parts, by more than the usual amount of dissonance and chord inversion, and by the use of figuration to supply missing chord factors. In his cantata, Le rossignol, voice and obbligato instrument have to execute intricate filigree work together.
Le besoin d'aimer, 1er cantatille, 1v, fl, vn, bc (Paris, 1734)
Pièces de clavecin, 1er livre (Paris, 1734)
L'amant discret, 1v, fl, vn, bc (Paris, 1737), lost
Pièces de clavecin, 2me livre (Paris, 1737), lost
Vulcain dupé par l'amour, 3me cantatille, B, vn, bc (Paris, 1742)
Le rossignol, cant, S/T, fl, vn/fl, bc (Paris, 1751)
Maupoint: Calendrier historique avec le journal des cérémonies (Paris, 1737), 134
F.W.Marpurg: Historisch-kritische Beyträge zur Aufnahme der Musik, i/1 (Berlin, 1754/R), 459
G.Servières: Documents inédits sur les organistes français des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (Paris, 1924), 12
G.Vasseur: Pierre Febvrier et sa famille (Abbeville, 1960)
E.Kocevar: ‘Pierre Février (1696–1760): Organiste et compositeur abbevillois’, Bulletin de la Société d'Émulation Historique et Littéraire d'Abbeville, xxxvi (1986), 115–23
E.Kocevar: Les orgues et les organistes de la collégiale Sainte-Opportune de Paris (1535–1790) (Dijon, 1995)
Fewkes, Jesse Walter
(b Newton, MA, 14 Nov 1850; dForest Glen, MD, 31 May 1930). American ethnologist. He studied biology at Harvard (AB 1875, PhD 1877), and later studied at Leipzig and the University of Arizona. He was field director of the Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition (1889–94), and, commissioned by Mary Hemenway, tested the value of the phonograph for fieldwork in March 1890 by recording songs of the Passamaquoddy Indians in Maine. These were soon followed by his Zuni (1890) and Hopi Pueblo (1891) recordings which were then analysed by Benjamin Ives Gilman. He was responsible for the Hemenway Exhibition at the Madrid exhibition of 1892 commemorating Columbus's discovery of America, and consequently received many honours. As a result of his work in Madrid, Hemenway later commissioned recordings by Gilman. From 1895 to 1918 Fewkes worked as an ethnologist at the Bureau of American Ethnology in Washington, DC, becoming chief in 1918, and remaining there until his retirement in 1928.
Fewkes was the first man to record exotic music for the benefit of science. His most important musical contributions are found in the corpus of his lifelong ethnological studies among the Pueblo Indians in Arizona. His legacy to ethnomusicology lies not only in his articles on music but also in the historical value of his many writings on ritual observances and ceremonials accompanied by music and dance, and those on folklore and language relevant to the study of musical instruments and texts. A man with changing careers, Fewkes undertook extensive fieldwork in ethnology, archaeology and invertebrate zoology, and was a prolific writer.
‘A Contribution to Passamaquoddy Folklore’, Journal of American Folklore, iii (1890), 257–80
‘On the Use of the Phonograph in the Study of Languages of American Indians’, Science, xv (1890), 267–9
‘On the Use of the Phonograph among the Zuni Indians’, American Naturalist, xxiv (1890), 687–91
‘Additional Studies of Zuni Songs and Rituals with the Phonograph’, ibid., 1094–8
The Snake Ceremonials at Walpi (Boston, 1894/R)
‘The Walpi Flute Observance’, Journal of American Folklore, vii (1894), 265–87