>


André Jolivet

Known for his devotion to French culture and musical thought, Jolivet's music draws on his interest in acoustics and atonality as well as both ancient and modern influences in music, particularly on instruments used in ancient times. He composed in a wide variety of forms for many different types of ensembles.

Born in Paris to artistic parents (one a painter, one a pianist), Jolivet was encouraged by them to become a teacher, going to teachers' college and teaching primary school in Paris (taking three years in between to serve in the military). However, he eventually chose to instead follow his own artistic ambitions and take up first cello and then composition. He first studied with Paul Le Flem, who gave him a firm grounding in classical forms of harmony and counterpoint. After hearing his first concert of Arnold Schoenberg he became interested in atonal music, and then on Le Flem's recommendation became the only European student of Edgard Varese, who passed on his knowledge of musical acoustics, atonal music, sound masses, and orchestration. In 1936 Jolivet founded the group La jeune France along with composers Olivier Messiaen, Daniel-Lesur and Yves Baudrier, who were attempting to re-establish a more human and less abstract form of composition. La jeune France developed from the avant-garde chamber music society La spirale, formed by Jolivet, Messiaen, and Lesur the previous year.

Jolivet's aesthetic ideals underwent many changes throughout his career. His initial desire as an adolescent was to write music for the theatre, which inspired his first compositions, including music for a ballet. Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas and Maurice Ravel were to be his next influences after hearing a concert of their work in 1919; he composed several piano pieces while training to become a teacher before going to study with Le Flem. Schoenberg and Varèse were strongly evident in his first period of maturity as a composer, during which his style drew heavily upon atonality and modernistic ideas. Mana (1933), the beginning of his "magic period", was a work in six parts for piano, with each part named after one of the six objects Varese left with him before moving to the United States. Jolivet's intent as a composer throughout his career was to "give back to music its original, ancient meaning, when it was the magical, incantatory expression of the religious beliefs of human groups." Mana, even as one of his first mature works, is a reflection of this; Jolivet considered the sculptures as fetish objects. His further writing continues to seek the original meanings of music and its capacity for emotional, ritual, and celebratory expression.

In 1945 he published a paper declaring that "true French music owes nothing to Stravinsky", though both composers drew heavily upon themes of ancient music in their work; Jolivet and La jeune France rejected neoclassicism in favor of a less academic and more spiritual style of composition. Later, during World War II, Jolivet shifted away from atonality and toward a more tonal and lyrical style of composition. After a few years of working in this more simplistic style, during which time he wrote the comic opera Dolores, ou Le miracle de la femme laide (1942) and the ballet Guignol et Pandore (1943), he arrived at a compromise between this and his earlier more experimental work. The First Piano Sonata, written in 1945, shows elements of both these styles.

Finally realizing his youthful ambition to write for the theatre, Jolivet became the musical director of the Comedie Francaise in 1945, a post he held until 1959. While there he composed for plays by Moliére, Racine, Sophocles, Shakespeare and Claudel, scoring 14 works in total. He also continued to compose for the concert hall, often inspired by his frequent travels around the world, adapting texts and music from Egypt, the Middle East, Africa and Asia into his distinctly French style.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Jolivet wrote several concertos for a variety of instruments including trumpet, piano, flute, harp, bassoon, percussion, cello, and violin. These works, while highly regarded, all demand virtuosic technical skill from the performers. Jolivet is also one of the few composers to write for the Ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument, completing a concerto for it in 1947, 19 years after the instrument's invention. Jolivet founded the Centre Francais d'Humanisme Musical at Aix-en-Provence in 1959, and in 1961 went to teach composition at the Paris Conservatoire.
He died in Paris, leaving unfinished his opera Le soldat inconnu.

Complete list of his works.

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1935 Mana 6 pièces pour piano 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:

Jacqueline Mefano - Piano

1935 Serimpie 4.00 stars 10"45 rpm
Comments:
Nelly Caron - Ondes Martenot
Guillemette Boyer - Piano
1936 Five incantations for solo flute 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:

Pierre-Yves Artaud - Flute
Ensemble dePercussions 2E2M

1937 Incantion pour flute alto en sol 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:

Pierre-Yves Artaud - Flute

1947 Cinq danses rituelles pour piano 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:

Jacqueline Mefano - Piano

1948 Concertino for Trumpet, String Orchestra and Piano 3.50 stars  LP
Jolivet - Concertino Comments:
Maurice André - Trumpet
Lamoureux Orchestre cond. André Jolivet
1948 Concertino for Trumpet , String Orchestra and Piano 4.0 stars CD
Sonate Comments:

Jouko Harjanne - Trumpet
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Jukka-Pekka Saraste

1953 Epithalame 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
The Sixteen cond. Harry Christopher
1954 Concerto for Trumpet No 2 3.50 stars LP
Jolivet - 2nd Concerto for Trumpet Comments:
Maurice André - Trumpet
Lamoureux Orchestre cond. André Jolivet
1954 Concerto for Trumpet No 2 4.0 stars CD
Sonate Comments:

Jouko Harjanne - Trumpet
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Jukka-Pekka Saraste

1962 Concerto for Cello 4.00 stars LP
Jolivet - Cello Concerto Comments:

André Navarra - Cello
Lamoureux Orchestre cond. André Jolivet

1965 Suite en concert pour flute et percussions 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:

Pierre-Yves Artaud - Flute
Ensemble dePercussions 2E2M

1967 Cinq ascésses pour flute alto 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:

Pierre-Yves Artaud - Flute

Compilation Les enregistrements Erato 4.50 stars 4 CD
Comments:

CD1

1-3 concerto for cello & orchestra no.1 (1962)
andre navarra : cello / andre jolivet : conductor

4-6 concerto for cello & orchestra no.2 (1966)
rostropovich : cello / andre jolivet : conductor

7-11 suite en concert for cello (1965)
andre navarra : cello / andre jolivet : conductor

12-14 concerto for harp & chamber orchestra (1952)
lily laskine : harp / andre jolivet : conductor

CD2

1 concertino for trumpet, strings & piano (1948)
annie d'arco : piano
maurice andre : trumpet

1 concerto for trumpet & orchestra no.2 (1954)
2-4 maurice andre : trumpet / andre jolivet : conductor

5-7 concerto for ondes martenot et orchestra (1947)
jeanne loriod : ondes martenot / andre jolivet : conductor

8-14 heptade for trumpet & percussion (1971)
maurice andre : trumpet / sylvio gualda : percussion

15 arioso barocco for trumpet & organ (1968)
maurice andre : trumpet / hedwig bilgram : organ

CD3

1-4 concerto for flute & strings no.1 (1949)
jean-pierre rampal : flute / andre jolivet : conductor

5-8 suite for flute & percussion (concerto for flute & percussion no.2) (1965)
jean-pierre rampal : flute / andre jolivet : conductor
jean-pierre drouet, diego masson, jean-claude casadesus, jean-charles francois : percussion

9 chant de linos for flute, violin, alto, cello & harp (1944)
quintette marie-claire jamet

10-14 five incantations for flute (1936)
jean-pierre rampal : flute

15 incantations for the image to become symbol 1937)
jean-pierre rampal : flute

16-19 serenade avec hautbois principal pour quintette a vent (1945)
quintette marie-claire jamet

CD4

1-5 five ritual dances (1939)
andre jolivet : conductor

6-9 concerto for bassoon, strings, harp & piano (1954)
maurice allard : bassoon
andre jolivet : conductor

10-17 suite liturgique (melodie avec petit ensemble) (1942)
jacques jouineau : conductor

18-22 poemes intimes for soprano & chamber orchestra (1940)
colette herzog : soprano
alain lombard : conductor

Recorded in 1964-1978 / 1958 (Serenade)