Jolivet, André

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Jolivet, André

Jolivet, André, prominent French composer; b. Paris, Aug. 8, 1905; d. there, Dec. 20, 1974. A son of artistically inclined parents, he took an interest in the fine arts, wrote poetry, and improvised at the piano. He studied cello with Louis Feuillard and theory with Aimé Théodas at Notre Dame de Clignancourt. At the age of 15, he wrote a ballet and designed a set for it, and then undertook a prolonged study of musical techniques with Le Flem (1928–33). Of decisive importance to the maturation of his creative consciousness was his meeting in 1930 with Varèse, then living in Paris, who gave him a sense of direction in composition. In 1935 he organized in Paris the progressive group La Spirale. In 1936, in association with Baudrier, Messiaen, and Daniel-Lesur, he founded La Jeune France, dedicated to the promotion of new music in a national French style. He served as conductor and music director of the Comédie Française (1943–59); was technical adviser of the Direction Générale des Arts et des Lettres (1959–62), and president of the Concerts Lamoureux (1963–68); he also was prof, of composition at the Paris Cons. (1965–70). He toured throughout the world as a conductor of his own music. Jolivet injected an empiric spirit into his music, making free use of modernistic technical resources, including the electronic sounds of the Ondes Martenot. Despite these esoteric preoccupations, and even a peripheral deployment of serialism, his music was designed mainly to provide aural stimulation and aesthetic satisfaction.


dramatic: Opera-buffa: Dolores, Le Miracle de la femme laide (1942; Paris Radio, May 4, 1947). Ballet: Guignol et Pandore (1943; Paris, April 29, 1944); L’Inconnue (Paris, April 19, 1950); Ariadne (1964; Paris, March 12, 1965). OTHER: Incidental music. ORCH.: Andante for Strings (1935); Danse incantatoire for Orch. and 2 Ondes Martenot (1936); Cosmogonie (1938; Paris, Nov. 17, 1947; also for Piano); 5 danses rituelles (1939; Paris, June 15, 1942); Symphonie de danses (1940; Paris, Nov. 24, 1943); Psyché (1946; Paris, March 5, 1947); Ondes Martenot Concerto (1947; Vienna, April 23, 1948); 2 trumpet concertos (1948, 1954); 2 flute concertos (1949, 1965); Piano Concerto (1949-50; Strasbourg, June 19, 1951); Concerto for Harp and Chamber Orch. (1952); 3 numbered syms.: No. 1 (1953; Haifa, May 30, 1954), No. 2 (Berlin, Oct. 3, 1959), and No. 3 (Mexico City, Aug. 7, 1964, composer conducting); Concerto for Bassoon, Harp, Piano, and Strings (Paris Radio, Nov. 30, 1954); Suite transocéane (Louisville, Ky, Sept. 24, 1955); Suite française (1957); Percussion Concerto (1958; Paris, Feb. 17, 1959); Adagio for Strings (1960); Les Amants magnifiques (Lyons, April 24, 1961); Sym. for Strings (1961; Paris, Jan. 9, 1962); 2 cello concertos: No. 1 (Paris, Nov. 20, 1962) and No. 2 (1966; Moscow, Jan. 6, 1967); Violin Concerto (1972; Paris, Feb. 28, 1973); La Flèche du temps for 12 Solo Strings (1973); Yin-Yang for 11 Solo Strings (1974). CHAMBER: Suite for String Trio (1930); String Quartet (1934); 3 poèmes for Ondes Martenot and Piano (1935); 5 incantations for Flute (1936); Ballet des étoiles for 9 Instruments (1941); Suite delphique for Winds, Harp, Ondes Martenot, and Percussion (1943; Vienna, Oct. 22, 1948); Nocturne for Cello and Piano (1943); Pastorales de Noël for Flute or Violin, Bassoon or Viola, and Harp (1943); Chant des Linos for Flute and Piano, or Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Harp (1944); Sérénade for Oboe and Piano, or Wind Quintet (1945); Sérénade for 2 Guitars (1956); Rhapsodie à 7 for Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Percussion, Violin, and Double Bass (1957); Flute Sonata (1958); Sonatina for Flute and Clarinet (1961); Sonatina for Oboe and Bassoon (1963); Alla rustica for Flute and Harp (1963); Suite rhapsodique for Violin (1965); Suite en concert for Cello (1965); 5 églogues for Viola (1967); Ascèses for Flute or Clarinet (1967); Cérémonial en hommage à Varèse for 6 Percussionists (1968); Controversia for Oboe and Harp (1968); Arioso barocco for Trumpet and Organ (1969); Heptade for Trumpet and Percussion (1971–72). keyboard: piano: 3 Temps (1930); Mana (1935); 2 sonatas (1945, 1957); Hopi Snake Dance for 2 Pianos (1948); Patchinko for 2 Pianos (1970). organ:Hymne à l’univers (1961); Mandala (1969). VOCAL: 3 chants des hommes for Baritone and Orch. (1937); Poèmes pour l’enfant for Voice and 11 Instruments (1937; Paris, May 12, 1938); 3 complaintes du soldat for Voice and Orch. or Piano (1940); Messe pour le jour de la paix for Voice, Organ, and Tambourine (1940); Suite liturgique for Voice, Oboe, Cello, and Harp (1942); Epithalame for 12-part Vocal “Orch.” (1953; Venice, Sept. 16, 1956); Messe “Uxor tua” for 5 Voices and 5 Instruments or Organ (1962); Madrigal for 4 Voices and 4 Instruments (1963); Songe à nouveau rêvé for Soprano and Orch. (1970).


V. Fédorov and P. Guinard, compilers, A./.: Catalogue des oeuvres (Paris, 1969); H. Jolivet, Avec A. J. (Paris, 1978).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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