Paul Barras and his organ compositions by Marieke Stoelby Marieke Stoel |Het ORGEL |Year 104 |(2008) |Issue 2
HetORGEL 104 (2008), nr. 2, 18-27 [summary]
The blind Belgian organist Paul Barras (born in 1925) was taught byFlor Peeters at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen and the KoninllijkeConservatorium at Antwerpen. After his study he became acapable pedagogue who developed his own teaching materials (Exercicesélémentaires). Barras taught at theKoninklijk Blindeninstituut (Royal Institute for the Blind) atSt.-Lambrechts-Woluwé, the Koninklijk Conservatorium (RoyalConservatory) at Brussels, and the Académie de Musique inWoluwé-Saint-Lambert.
Since 1953 he has been active as a composer: his oeuvreconsists of about sixty works. In general, Barras’scompositions are easy to moderately difficult, for both the organistand the listener. A part of this oeuvre is intended for usein church services, another part specifically for concert use.
Barras’s style is early-modern and oriented toward the Frenchschool: often modal in character, and never strikinglydissonant. Barras’s easy-going character and aninterested, positive attitude can be heard in his work.
Photo: Marie-Cécile Deproost