JOSEPH RYELANDT (1870 - 1965)
Joseph Ryelandt was born in Bruges, Belgium in 1870 into an aristocratic family with strong Catholic traditions. After studies in philosophy and law, he became a private pupil of Edgar Tinel, one of the champions of the Romantic religious oratorio in Flanders. Whereas Tinel developed a very dramatic, realistic and triumphant style, with spectacular arias and impressive choral scenes, his pupil tended towards a completely different approach in musical substance. From his earliest childhood Ryelandt was influenced by the silent, mysterious and mystical atmosphere of his native Bruges. His music is generally introspective, built upon an intriguing balance between Romantic harmony and decorative polyphony, thus combining influences of Franck and Wagner with reminiscences of Handel and Bach.