Paul Le Flem (March 18, 1881 - July 31, 1984) was a French composer and musician. Born in Brittany, France, Le Flem studied at the Schola Cantorum under Vincent d'Indy and Albert Roussel, later teaching at the same establishment, where his pupils included Erik Satie and André Jolivet. His music is strongly influenced by his native Brittany, the landscape of which is reflected in most of his work.
Before World War I, Le Flem produced several major works, including his First Symphony, a Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra, and an opera. The war temporarily put an end to his compositional activities, and in its aftermath he devoted himself to music criticism and choral conducting. In 1938, he began composing once again. Three additional symphonies and a second opera followed before his final retirement in 1976 at the age of 95.
Some of his dramatic works include the operas Le rossignol de St-Malo (The Nightingale of St Malo) and La magicienne de la mer (The Magician of the Sea), as well as the chante-fable Aucassin et Nicolette. For the Dead and the seven Children's Pieces, both originally written in 1912, were orchestrated some years later. Two of the composer's children died young, and For the Dead is dedicated to their memory. In addition to his symphonies, Le Flem wrote evocative orchestral music such as En mer (At Sea) and La voix du large (The Voice of the Open Sea). Le Flem also composed the music for Jean Tedesco's short film The Great Gardener of France in 1942.
The French term divertissement (divertimento in Italian) was frequently used in the 18th and 19th century to identify an instrumental composition written in a light vein and used primarily for entertainment.
Les Six were influenced by Eric Satie, and Jean Cocteau, and to a lesser extent Emmanuel Chabrier.
From 1928-33, Jolivet studied composition with PaulLeFlem - whose instruction of counterpoint, harmony and form drew upon models of 15th and 16th century polyphony.
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