Migot, Georges, significant French composer; b. Paris, Feb. 27, 1891; d. Levallois, near Paris, Jan. 5, 1976. He began taking piano lessons at the age of 6, entering the Paris Cons, in 1909. After preliminary courses in harmony, he studied composition with Widor, counterpoint with Gédalge, and music history with Emmanuel, then orchestration with dTndy and organ with Gigout and Guilmant. Before completing his studies at the Paris Cons., he was mobilized into the French army, was wounded at Longuyon in 1914, and was released from military service. In 1917 he presented in Paris a concert of his own works; received the Lily Boulanger Prize in 1918. He competed twice for the Prix de Rome in 1919 and 1920, but failed to win and abandoned further attempts to capture it. In the meantime, he engaged in a serious study of painting; in fact, he was more successful as a painter than as a composer in the early years of his career; he exhibited his paintings in Paris art galleries in 1917, 1919, 1923, and subsequent years. He also wrote poetry; virtually all of his vocal works are written to his own words. In his musical compositions, he endeavored to recapture the spirit of early French polyphony, thus emphasizing the continuity of national art in history. His melodic writing is modal, often with archaic inflections, while his harmonic idiom is diatoni-cally translucid; he obtains subtle coloristic effects through unusual instrumental registration. Profoundly interested in the preservation and classification of early musical instruments, he served as curator of the Instrumental Museum of the Paris Cons. (1949–61). He wrote Essais pour une esthétique générale (Paris, 1920; 2nd ed., 1937), Appoggiatures résolues et non résolues (Paris, 1922–31), Jean-Philippe Rameau et le génie de la musique française (Paris, 1930), Lexique de quelques termes utilisés en musique (Paris, 1947), 2 vols, of poems (Paris, 1950, 1951), Matériaux et inscriptions (Toulouse, 1970), and Kaléidoscope et miroirs ou les images multipliées et contraires (autobiography; Toulouse, 1970).
dramatic:Hagoromo, symphonie lyrique et chorégraphique (Monte Carlo, May 9, 1922); Le Rossignol en amour, chamber opera (1926–28; Geneva, March 2, 1937); Cantate d’amour, concert opera (1949–50); La Sulamite, concert opera (1969–70); L’Arche, polyphonie spatiale (1971; Marseilles, May 3, 1974). orch.: 13 numbered syms.: No. 1, Les Agrestides (1919–20; Paris, April 29, 1922), No. 2 (1927; Besançon, Sept. 7, 1961), No. 3 (1943–49), No. 4 (1946–47), No. 5, Sinfonia da chiesa, for Wind Orch. (Roubaix, Dec. 4, 1955), No. 6 for Strings (1944–51; Strasbourg, June 22, 1960), No. 7 for Chamber Orch. (1948–52), No. 8 for 15 Winds and 2 Double Basses (1953), No. 9 for Strings (n.d.; unfinished), No. 10 (1962), No. 11 for Wind Orch. (1963), No. 12 (1954–64; Lille, May 29, 1972), and No. 13 (1967); 1 unnumbered sym.:Petite symphonie en trois mouvements enchaînés for Strings (1970; Beziers, July 23, 1971); La Paravent de laque aux cinq images (1920; Paris, Jan. 21, 1923); La Fête de la bergere (1921; Paris, Nov. 21, 1925); Trois ciné-ambiances (1922); Dialogue for Piano and Orch. (1922–25; Paris, March 25, 1926); Dialogue for Cello and Orch. (1922–26; Paris, Feb. 7, 1927); Suite for Violin and Orch. (1924; Paris, Nov. 14, 1925); Suite for Piano and Orch. (Paris, March 12, 1927); Suite en concert for Harp and Orch. (Paris, Jan. 15, 1928); La jungle for Organ and Orch. (1928; Paris, Jan. 9, 1932); Prélude pour un poète (Paris, June 7, 1929); Le Livre des danceries, suite (Paris, Dec. 12, 1931); Le Zodiaque (1931–39); Piano Concerto (1962; Paris, June 26, 1964); Phonie sous-marine (1962); Concerto for Harpsichord and Chamber Orch. (Paris, Dec. 12, 1967). chamber: Trio for Oboe, Violin, and Piano (1906); Les Parques for 2 Violins, Viola, and Piano (1909); Violin Sonata (1911); Trio for Violin, Viola, and Piano (1918); 3 string quartets (1921, 1957, 1966); Dialogue No. 1 (1922) and No. 2 (1929) for Cello and Piano; Dialogue No. 1 (1923) and No. 2 (1925) for Violin and Piano; Quartet for 2 Clarinets, Corno di Bassetto, and Bass Clarinet (1925); Suite for Flute (1931); Piano Trio (1935); Trio for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1944); String Trio (1944–45); Flute Sonata (1945); Sonate luthée for Solo Harp (1949); Pastorale for 2 Flutes (1950); 2 sonatas for Solo Violin (1951, 1959); Sonata for Solo Clarinet (1953); Sonata for Solo Bassoon (1953); Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon (1954); Sonata for Solo Cello (1954); Quartet for 2 Violins and 2 Cellos (1955); Saxophone Quartet (1955); Cello Sonata (1958); Sonata for Solo Cello (1958); Quartet for Flute, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1960); Guitar Sonata (1960); Quartet for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano (1961); Suite for 2 Cellos (1962); Suite for English Horn and Piano (1963); Introduction pour un concert de chambre for 5 Strings and 5 Winds (1964); Trio for Flute, Cello, and Harp (1965); piano pieces; organ music. VOCAL: 4 oratorios:La Passion (1939–46; Paris, July 25, 1957), L’Annonciation (1943–46), La Mise au tombeau (1948–49), and La Résurrection (1953; Strasbourg, March 28, 1969); Mystère orphique for Voice and Orch. (1951; Strasbourg, March 18, 1964); La Nativité de Notre Seigneur for Soloists, Chorus, and Instruments (1954); sacred and secular choruses; trios; quartets; etc.
L. Valias, G. M. (Paris, 1923); P. Wolff, La Route d’un musicien: G. M. (Paris, 1933); M. Pinchard, Connaissance de G. M., musicien français (Paris, 1959); M. Honegger, ed., Catalogue des oeuvres musicales de G. M. (Strasbourg, 1977); C. Latham, ed. and tr., G. M.:The Man and His Work (Strasbourg, 1982).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire