Maurice Martenot

Maurice MARTENOT (1898 - 1980) found the principle of Ondes Martenot (sometimes named by mistake : ondes Martinot or Martenot Waves in English), when, as a serviceman in radio transmissions during the first world war, he noticed "the purity of the vibrations produced by the lamps of a condenser whose intensity can be made to vary". It was one of the first electric instruments in the world and the only one of that time to have given rise to a vast repertoire and to be still played today. Maurice MARTENOT was also a cellist and the inventor, with his sister, of a method of artistical education. He was above all interested in the musical means offered by electricity and not so much by research in sound. He started doing research work for ondes Martenot in 1919. But he did not present the instrument to the public until May 1928 at Paris Opera. His triumph was followed by a world tour.
Seven successive specimens made by Maurice MARTENOT were born, each one bringing innovations. The bases of the last instrument, transistorised, still played and taught in about ten Music Academies (France, Canada) were fixed in 1975. The building of Ondes Martenot stopped in 1988. His son Jean Louis then started working on a digital instrument. Finally, Ambro OLIVA and the firm SEAM has finalized an improved instrument avalaible since 2001.

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
Compilation An Electronic Odyssey 4.00 stars CD
Salzman Comments:
Rare instrument specialist Thomas Bloch is equally at home performing on the soundtrack of Amadeus, on stage with Radiohead, or at Milan's La Scala (playing glass harmonica, cristal Baschet or ondes Martenot). This CD offers the widest possible range of repertoire for the ondes Martenot, one of the earliest electronic instruments (1919): a solo work and an ensemble for nine ondes Martenot (Bloch), chamber music (Martinu, Messiaen), double concerto with piano, orchestra and percussion (Wisson), electroacoustic compositions (Redolfi, Touchard), and a fully composed piece (Cooper) which contrasts with a partially improvised work (Rolin). These at times surprising works are performed by Bloch and some of his fellow-composers, and also feature Phil Minton, Fernand Quattrocchi, the Pomeranian Quartet and the Paderewski Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

Feuillets inédits (4), for ondes Martenot No. 4 (Déchiffrage)  Composed by Olivier Messiaen  with Thomas Bloch, Bernard Wisson 

Formule, for ondes Martenot  Composed by Thomas Bloch  with Thomas Bloch Kyriades, double concerto for ondes Martenot, piano, string orchestra & percussion

Kyriade I  Composed by Bernard Wisson  Performed by Paderewski Philharmonic Orchestra  with Thomas Bloch, Bernard Wisson  Conducted by Fernand

Quattrocchi  Kyriades, double concerto for ondes Martenot, piano, string orchestra & percussion

Kyriade II (excerpt)  Composed by Bernard Wisson  Performed by Paderewski Philharmonic Orchestra  with Thomas Bloch, Bernard Wisson  Conducted by Fernand Quattrocchi  

Kyriades, double concerto for ondes Martenot, piano, string orchestra & percussion

Kyriade IV  Composed by Bernard Wisson  Performed by Paderewski Philharmonic Orchestra  with Thomas Bloch, Bernard Wisson  Conducted by Fernand Quattrocchi 

Mare Teno, for voice, ondes Martenot & electronics  Composed by Michel Redolfi  with Susan Belling, Thomas Bloch  

Lude 9.6, for 9 ondes Martenot  Composed by Thomas Bloch  with Thomas Bloch, Thomas Bloch Waves Orchestra  

Nightmare, for voice, ondes Martenot, synthesiser, keyboards & percussion  Composed by Lindsay Cooper, Abdulah Sidran  with Ademir Kenovic, Phil Minton, Lindsay Cooper, Thomas Bloch, Brian Abrahams, Gerard Siracusa, Dean Brodrick  

Fantasia for theremin, oboe, string quartet & piano, H. 301  Composed by Bohuslav Martinu  with Marek Swatowski, Pomeranian Quartet, Thomas Bloch, Bernard Wisson  Conducted by Fernand Quattrocchi  

Euplotes 2  Composed by Olivier Touchard, Thomas Bloch  with Thomas Bloch  Space Forest Bound, for ondes Martenot & alto flute/soprano saxophone  Composed by Etienne Rolin  with Etienne Rolin, Thomas Bloch 

Sweet Suite, for 9 ondes Martenot  Composed by Thomas Bloch  Performed by Thomas Bloch Waves Orchestra with Thomas Bloch

1937-? Several works 4.5 stars CD
Comments:
Pour sextuor d'Ondes Martenot
Ensemble de Ondes de Montreal

See Messiaen

Compilation
Musique pour ondes Martinot
3.00 stars 10" LP 45 rpm
Comments:
The music is performed by Nelly Caron on the Ondes Martinot and Guillemette Boyer on piano.

Compositions by:
Pierre Arvay - Sonate
Charles Koechlin - Chant de Sérénité
G. Samazeuilh - Luciole
Ed. Michael - Elegie
Andre Jolivet - Serempie