Marieke Stoel Paul Barras and his organ compositions
Het ORGEL 104 (2008), nr. 2, 18-27 [summary]


The blind Belgian organist Paul Barras (born in 1925) was taught by Flor Peeters at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen and the Koninllijke Conservatorium at Antwerpen.  After his study he became a capable pedagogue who developed his own teaching materials (Exercices élémentaires).  Barras taught at the Koninklijk Blindeninstituut (Royal Institute for the Blind) at St.-Lambrechts-Woluwé, the Koninklijk Conservatorium (Royal Conservatory) at Brussels, and the Académie de Musique in Woluwé-Saint-Lambert.
Since 1953 he has been active as a composer:  his oeuvre consists of about sixty works.  In general, Barras’s compositions are easy to moderately difficult, for both the organist and the listener.  A part of this oeuvre is intended for use in church services, another part specifically for concert use.
Barras’s style is early-modern and oriented toward the French school:  often modal in character, and never strikingly dissonant.  Barras’s easy-going character and an interested, positive attitude can be heard in his work.

Photo: Marie-Cécile Deproost