Joannes Julianus Desmet, van Jan Desmet (Ghent 1885 – Gentbrugge 1954) became known under his pseudonym Jean de Smetsky. He composed chamber music, orchestral and piano works, but is best known for his works for concert band.
During the First World War, he was a soldier in the Belgian army, which influenced his life and his artistic inspiration. He composed several songs for the soldiers during the war. Some of his compositions were also used as propaganda by the Belgian army in the territories occupied by the German army. He received several accolades from the Belgian army for his compositions.
Closely associated with military and civilian music for wind players, he composed works for it during the rest of his life. He caused a furore in the US as a marching composer. His famous 1927 circus march March of the Spanish Soldiery was played all over the US, especially for performances with trained bears.
He spent a short period in the US. He worked as a conductor at the Flemish Opera in Ghent and at the Opéra in Dijon.
Tragic Moment is written as film music for the silent film. Music that changes character, where a tragic or theatrical-dramatic undertone is never far away.