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Rivier, Jean

Rivier, Jean

Rivier, Jean , French composer and pedagogue; b. Villemonble, July 21, 1896; d. La Penne sur Huveaune, Nov. 6, 1987. His early musical training was interrupted by his enlistment in the French army during World War I. His health was severely damaged as a result of mustard gas, and it was only after a long recuperation that he was able to enter the Paris Cons. in 1922 to study with Emmanuel (music history), J. Gallon (harmony), and Caussade (counterpoint and fugue; premier prix, 1926). He also studied cello with Bazelaire. In subsequent years, he was active with various contemporary music societies in Paris, including Triton, of which he was president (1936–40). From 1948 to 1966 he taught composition at the Paris Cons. In 1970 he was awarded the Grand Prix for music of the City of Paris. He formed a style of composition in which he effectively combined elements of French Classicism and Impressionism.


DRAMATIC: Opera: Vénitienne (Paris, July 8, 1937). ORCH.: Cello Concerto (1927); Chant funèbre, symphonic poem (1927); Danse (1928); 3 Pastorales (1928; Paris, Feb. 7, 1929); Ouverture pour un Don Quichotte (1929); Burlesque for Violin and Orch. (1929); Adagio for Strings (1930; Paris, March 1, 1931); Ouverture pour une opérette imaginaire (1930); 5 Mouvements brefs (1931); Le Livre d’Urien (1931); 8 syms.: No. 1 (1931; Paris, Jan. 29, 1933), No. 2 for Strings (1937), No. 3 for Strings (1937; Paris, Nov. 25, 1940), No. 4 for Strings (1947), No. 5 (1950; Strasbourg, June 24, 1951), No. 6, Les Présages (Paris, Dec. 11, 1958), No. 7, Les Contrastes (1961; Paris, Jan. 9, 1962), and No. 8 for Strings (1978); Viola or Alto Saxophone Concertino (1935; Paris, Feb. 15, 1936); Musiques nocturnes (1936); Paysage pour une Jeanne d’Arc à Domrémy, symphonie tableau (1936; Paris, Jan. 31, 1937); 2 piano concertos: No. 1 (1940) and No. 2, Concerto breve, for Piano and Strings (1953); Violin Concerto (1942); Rapsodie provençale (Aix-en-Provence, July 22, 1949); Ouverture pour un drame (1952); Concerto for Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, and Strings (1954); Concerto for Flute and Strings (Strasbourg, June 1956); Musique pour un ballet (1957); Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (1958); Concerto for Clarinet and Strings (1958); Concerto for Bassoon and Strings (1963); Concerto for Brass, Timpani, and Strings (1963); Drames, symphonic movement (1966); Résonances (1966); Triade for Strings (1967); Concerto for Oboe and Strings (1967); Concerto for Trumpet and Strings (1970); Lento doloroso for Strings (1981). Chamber: 2 string quartets (1924, 1940); String Trio (1933); Grave et presto for Saxophone Quartet (1938); Duo for Flute and Clarinet (1968); Climats for Celesta, Vibraphone, Xylophone, Piano, and Strings (1968); Capriccio for Wind Quintet (1972); Brilliances for Brass Septet (1972); Comme une tendre berceuse for Flute and Piano (1984); 3 Movements for Clarinet and Piano (1985). Piano: Quatre Fantasmes (1967); Sonata (1969); Contrasts (1981); Stèle (1982). Vocal: Psaume LVI for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1937); Ballade des amants désespérés for Chorus and Orch. (1945); Requiem for Mezzo-soprano, Bass, Chorus, and Orch. (1953); Christus Rex, oratorio for Contralto, Chorus, and Orch. (1966); Dolor for Chorus and Orch. (1973); choruses; songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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