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Jean Wiener

Jean Wiéner was a duo-pianist and a prominent figure among early French film composers. Wiéner was an early enthusiast of composer Darius Milhaud, Jean Cocteau, and Les Six, and could be seen in their company with frequency in the early '30s. His career as a film composer actually began in the silent period through scoring Louis Delluc's avant-garde film La Femme de Nulle Part (The Woman from Nowhere, 1922). Wiéner became disillusioned with the avant-garde, and after breaking with Cocteau's circle, came to public prominence as a member of a popular piano duet with Belgian pianist Clement Doucet. From 1924 to 1939, Wiéner and Doucet recorded a mixture of popular dance hits, jazz, and light classical favorites and played some 2,000 concerts. With the outbreak of the Second World War, Doucet dropped out of the concert scene, eventually dying in 1950. Without his partner, Wiéner decided to give up the concert circuit and devote his energies exclusively to film scoring. Among the film directors Wiéner worked with closely was Jean Renoir, particularly in the 1930s, and on Renoir's last film, Le Petite Théatre de Jean Renoir (1971); Julien Duvivier; and Robert Bresson.
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