Valois, Marcel

Marcel (b Joseph Henri Jean) Valois (b Dufresne). Critic, essayist, b Montreal 17 Mar 1898, d there 6 Oct 1991. After his general education he read law and literature at the University of Montreal and studied piano. He was music critic 1929-54 for the Montreal daily La Presse and continued to contribute on a weekly basis until 1971.

Valois was the commentator 1941-2 for a series of recitals - 'Les liedistes français' - in a salon at the Windsor Hotel, in which the soprano Jeanne Desjardins, and the pianist Marie-Thérèse Paquin took part. For nine seasons he was a juror for the CBC's 'Singing Stars of Tomorrow'. For CBC radio he prepared and presented the 1973-4 series 'La musique à Montréal 1920-50' and the 1974-5 series 'Théâtre chanté, théâtre dansé.'

In 1957 Valois was named honorary professor of the Faculty of Music at the University of Montreal

Valois wrote enthusiastic and intelligent articles in a vivid style. They reveal his admiration for genuine artistry and his keen appreciation of the music of French composers, particularly Debussy and Ravel. He was also a perceptive dance critic.

Writings

Figures de danse (Montreal 1943, 1945)

- et al. Variations sur trois thèmes (Montreal 1946)

Dance Recaptured, transl Benton Jackson (Montreal 1947)

Le Sortilège de Marcel Proust (Montreal 1964)

Au carrefour des souvenirs (Montreal 1965)