Bonzon, Frédéric


Bonzon, Frédéric

En Ardennes, Scène pastorale pour hautbois avec accompagnement de piano (original version & revised version (first print) / score and parts)


Frédéric (Frederik) Bonzon
(’s-Hertogenbosch, 22 March 1850 – Berchem, 29 May 1926)

In the Ardennes
Pastorale scene for oboe with piano accompaniment
(ca. 1890)


The Dutch-born oboist and composer Frédéric Bonzon was the conductor of the band of the Chasseurs-Éclaireurs d’Anvers (the Hunters-scouts battalion of the Civic Guard that was stationed in Antwerp). For the occasion of the battalion’s centenary celebration, he composed the Marche du cinquantenaire composée à l’occasion du cinquantième anniversaire de la fondation du corps de chasseurs éclaireurs d’Anvers (published in 1910), to the text by Constant Stoffels. On 21 April 1875, Bonzon was named teacher of oboe, cor anglais and oboe d’amore at Peter Benoit’s ‘Antwerp Flemish Music School’ (from 1897 onwards the Royal Flemish Conservatoire). In 1920, he retired and was succeeded as oboe teacher by Edgar Van Bever.

During the First World War, just like the conservatoire director Emile Wambach and around 250,000 Belgians, Bonzon sought refuge in Great-Britain. Together with other Belgian refugees, he spent the war in Tunbridge Wells, where they were taken in by the Tunbridge Wells Belgian Refugees Committee. Active members of that committee, among others, were the writer and suffragette Amelia Scott and her sister Louise. This is evidenced by a souvenir album the Belgian colony offered the Scott sisters (1914 – 1915 – 1916 – Mesdemoiselles Scott Souvenir de Reconnaissance de la Colonie Belge de Tunbridge Wells; kept at the Amelia Scott Collection in The Women’s Library, London). Every page in this collection contains a drawing, testimony or other souvenir, like poems singing the praises of Great-Britain (“Hommage à la Grande Bretagne!”).

It is in this album that Bonzon wrote down a couple of bars from his composition En Ardennes in honour of the Scott sisters, adding the following comment: “Hommage respectueux de l’auteur à Mesdemoiselles Scott / Tunbridge Wells, le 22 Juillet 1916 / 66 Avenue de la Chapelle Anvers.” This ‘scène pastorale’ for oboe and piano had already been published in 1890 by Schott in Brussels, but afterwards Bonzon made substantial alterations. He made those changes to a score which he later donated to the Antwerp Conservatoire library, with the mention “exemplaire revu et corrigé par l’auteur” (‘copy reviewed and corrected by the author’). This later version is shortened and is less virtuoso. Remarkable alterations are the omission of the figure ascending to the forte blown b” in the first melody after the introduction, the omission of trills in the transition to the Andante con moto and the shortened finale. The bars he wrote down in the album for the Scott sisters show that he had already made those alterations at that time.

Jan Dewilde
(Translation: Jasmien Dewilde)

This edition combines both versions, based on two scores of the library of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp (KVC 214.454 [original version] and KVC 103.122 [revised version]). Based on the modifications made by Bonzon, Liesbeth Decrock created a new edition of the revised version. This score was performed on 15 July 2017 by Balder Dendievel, a student at the Antwerp Conservatoire, during the ‘Belgian Week’ in Tunbridge Wells. These scores are published in collaboration with the Study Centre for Flemish Music (


Read Flemish preface > HERE

Score No.

Special Edition






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