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Henri TOMASI

photo Henri TOMASI

One of the earliest works of Henri Tomasi, written in spring 1918, is a prelude for piano titled Poem for Cyrnos, that is to say Corsica after the name the Greeks gave to the island. In 1927, he received the First Second Grand Prix de Rome with Coriolanus, opera on a text by Guy de Teramond, according to the subject that inspired his famous drama to Shakespeare. At the time of his death, while planning an opera based on Hamlet, he had completed the arrangement for choir a capella of his Folk Songs of the island of Corsica from the original version for choir and chamber orchestra dates of 1962. Corsica and origins of Shakespeare, with his questions about the power, the meaning of existence: that posed at the beginning and end of the composer's career two themes we will encounter in our journey on the occasion of Twenty-five years of her disappearance. Composer played and recorded extensively during his lifetime and which one was killed unjustly forgotten since, at least in France note in passing that the collection "The Essential" Editions Fayard (yet well-documented books and knowing evoke little-known works in the various fields of symphonic, chamber music, melody) only mentions the name of Tomasi in any of the works that compose. We could take without changing anything what wrote ten years ago Frederic Ducros Malmazet-DEA in its music and musicology "Independence, both ideological and aesthetic, which showed Henri Tomasi throughout his life, is certainly the cause of "purgatory" in which he is currently. But it is, in our opinion, another reason that adds to this: Henri Tomasi belongs to a generation of French musicians that are currently feigns ignorance under the guise of an alleged "non-modern" apparent ! "Our work, modestly, awaiting the commemoration of the centenary of the composer - as it will close in 2001 - would restore citizenship to Henri Tomasi, in his region first and then beyond. Citizenship by bookish knowledge of man and of the work but also by encouraging those who make music, who are responsible for the broadcast, to hear these scores, to make them love, through the various times through the various inspirations, Tomasi of what he himself called his "sincerity successive". A lifeMarseille - Belle de Mai and not Mazargues (where it comes from a few years later and where her father was Xavier factor) - Henri Tomasi was born August 17, 1901. In Avignon is the grave of the man disappeared Jan. 13, 1971. His hatred of Paris ("It takes me" my "sea before to articulate:" Finita commedia! "This atmosphere of Paris: what puking!" He wrote to his son Claude in August 1966) made him choose the city Rhone to his final rest. Long lines are needed to evoke youth Tomasi, his relationship with his mother, his father, grades, Marseilles and Paris, the difficult years of learning, cinema, dancing, contempt of some, the friendship of a few others: they have no place in this brief study. But, undoubtedly, these events have helped shape a personality and its expression through music. Between the great harbor, the "Gateway to the East" which inspired so many dreams of escape, on the sea, to the countries of Africa and Asia and the papal city, very close to the Alpilles where he Daudet often meet (his music even give a real emotion to the stories of the storyteller), Henri Tomasi, besides Paris, know many stopovers. Of course, it's never been to those countries - Laos, Hoggar and other lands of Africa or Asia, even rarer in Latin America - so he raised the orchestra , by voice, through music for dance. Like Jules Verne, stationary traveler if any, Tomasi is a master at these imaginary travels so well portrayed by José Bruyr: "Twenty measures are sufficient for that I landed in Brazil, Cambodia, Japan , so that I threw on a beach in Africa vermilion, or a lunar glade tomtom. "His career as a conductor - he ran Aubert, Saint-Saens, Gluck, Massenet, David Wagner and Scotto (Vincent with his friend whom he wrote the music for the film that gave the beautiful Colomba role to Jose Luccioni) and its own works - will take him everywhere across Europe. An accident in 1952, will interrupt this career: besides the physical misfortunes will be a constant in recent decades of its existence. Of his deafness, including Professor Alfred Tomatis, despite its vast knowledge and his great friendship for the musician, only succeeded in reducing the terrible effects, and his other misfortunes, he speaks often in his letters to his wife Odette Camp, his son Claude, his good friend Jean Molinetti that time, presided over the destiny of the Opéra de Marseille and found ourselves one last time in 1988 during the creation of this scene of Miguel Manara. Unable to list them all, we will only truly ironic that message of June 16, 1969 to Claude:"My chickenAccident: always right - neck, ear, leg, arm. The right to avenge my leftism "This is his young son, moreover, that in 1955 he was signing his score of Atlantis with these words:"To my little darling Claude, hoping for his wonderful adventures on this stupid planet" see. "Stupid planet": these words, with multiple variations and comments on the man, "dog eat dog" will be the leitmotif of this correspondence, especially in the aftermath of the war and as and when the accumulation of physical pain and bitterness. The work will bring this evil to live, raise a number of times the terrible question: "To be or not being?" ask the. and respond: anger, rebellion, anxiety, hope, but always so musical. Major themes and key concernsOf course, with his adaptations of stories by Alphonse Daudet, with his ballet The Santon, with its Tomb of Mireille, with his arrangements of Christmas Saboly of Nicolas, with his Midnight Mass for the monks of Frigolet, with its Folies mazarguaises, Henri Tomasi anchor his inspiration in the region and the city of his birth. Dare say that it is not in that directory - which has nothing to poor - nor in his melodies, especially on texts by Francis Carco, Francis Jammes and Paul Fort - again, a directory it is wrong to ignore - that we find the great Tomasi. These music-there are well written, listening tasty, tasty playing or singing, say performers, they show a real job and a commendable attention to form, they show a sympathetic attention to a folklore that we hold dear, for poems that we appreciate. It was unfortunate that often they do something else illustrate these poems (just comment on them, sometimes), cite this folklore, a little work, but never transcend to reach its true nature, its meaning profound and timeless: Tomasi, in these pages is not Bartok, Kodaly, Villa-Lobos, De Falla and Milhaud. But Provence, Marseille, but it is primarily the Mediterranean. And, in pastiches Milhaud, another Marseille, who said: "The Mediterranean is of Constantinople in Rio de Janeiro, with Aix-en-Provence for capital. "We could well imagine Henri Tomasi declaring one day, and he may have done well:" The Mediterranean is from Marseille in Vietnam, with its capital of Corsica. "Thalassa because the ancient Greeks, the Roman Mare Nostrum, the Mediterranean to Europe and Africa and the seas, beyond Suez, prolong and give cosmic dimension, is ubiquitous in Tomasi, making each of its partitions a journey to discover other ways of being and to love, to meet other sounds and other rhythms. And meeting other beings, diverse and yet similar in their questions about life and death, against their human condition. Paghiella, Cyrnos, Hebrew Chant, Tam-tam, Vocero, Corsican songs, Ajax, Chants Laotian, Cambodian Dances, Songs of geishas, Brazilian Dances, Caravans, Enchantment Laotian, Asian Concert, Invocation to the Moon, Song of the Islands, the Lament Indian youth, Pastoral Inca Divertimento corsica, Impressions cyrnéennes, Lament and Dance Mogli, the first King Theodore of Corsica, Noa-Noa, and singing Walk Kabyle Berber girls, Jabadao, sultana Dassine Hoggar, Hummingbird, The Barbary, Ulysses, Recuerdos de los Balearic Holy Week in Cusco, Tahitian Gauguin, Gregorian Variations, the Moresca, Folk Songs of the island of Corsica. From 1928 to 1971, that stops in the land where the sea is full of birdsong, laughter of girls, where the sun gilds the body. But let us not think, as Aznavour sang, that "poverty is less cruel sun": Henri Tomasi, at the end of his life - and the approximation is tasty with the fact that he has long worked for Radio- colonial station broadcasting in the direction of "the French colonial empire" - ie knew the misfortunes, struggles and Liberation of Peoples Trust by signing, in memory of Hector Berlioz, the Symphony of the Third World on texts Aimé Césaire and, according to a text of Sartre, his Song for Viet Nam. In writing his own "Song of the World" has become the composer's brother and spokesman of men and women in distant lands. Distant lands whose calls referred to above are punctuated by larger steps, opera and symphony: Concerto for guitar, in memory of a murdered poet, (Federico Garcia Lorca, the militia Franco fell to punish him - the moral order is customary for similar amalgams - as many as Republican patriotism of his homosexuality), or Sampiero Corso Atlantis. Not to mention one of the partitions major Tomasi, Miguel Mañara his opera where the hero, Seville is of Corsican origin (Vincetelo of Leca) and where, by the end of the admirable "procession of Holy Thursday", inspired by the "Catenaccio - the chained" Sartène, music is the quote "Diu vi Salve Regina", the anthem that brings together all the inhabitants of the island. Speaking of operas such as Atlantis and Miguel Mañara, could we fail to notice how, adapting the texts of Pierre Benoit or Olivier Wenceslas Milosz to make booklets blameless, Henri Tomasi demonstrates his literary and dramatic? It will give a striking proof by passing lyrical adaptation of Silence of the Sea of Vercors. A feat if one remembers this masterpiece of underground, long monologue delivered before witnesses almost silent. Same feat a few years later with the adaptation of Erasmus for Praise of Folly of the nuclear era, written by Tomasi and disgusted with all of his physical ailments that the spectacle of injustice and misery prevailing world. With Miguel Mañara, reveals another facet of Henri Tomasi, a time tried by mysticism: the "mystery" of the writer had touched the Lithuanian composer and, after a first stage music performances for the text, it was the superb lyrical score. A complete partition in the quiet of the Sainte Baume, at a time when Tomasi, very seriously, planned to retire in orders. The musician lives there a sign in the account of the conversion of Mañara, we salute villain in the first act by a surprising "Glory to Manara in the lowest hell!" And which, at the end of the room, the funeral oration by the gardener brother is none other than: "Here's your brother, Madeleine / This is your brother, John"? Nothing prevents us, in any case, to advance this hypothesis reveals something quite compelling case voltage, trances sometimes found in these pages. Totally present in the blood Fanfares that the composer has drawn from his opera (and who often are the only music tomasiennes known to a large audience and many performers) and that he did not hesitate to give the qualifier liturgical, each sounding - Annunciation Gospel, Apocalypse, Evening procession - a reminder of a time, act, important in the life of a believer. The evocation of the Concerto for guitar (which will be followed concertos for double bass and cello) draws attention to how Henri Tomasi - great leader as recognized by the musicians, by his peers and by composers which he revealed Artworks - was able to use his extensive knowledge of instruments to entrust many of them for one or more partitions to enhance their opportunities to exploit their own character, or even lead them to their extreme limits. It should be noted, among the finest and most difficult ("To play them - once confided one of our great soloists media to one of his old friends - I would have worked. ") Pages for the violin, the flute, the trumpet - in Marseille in 1963, Joseph made a tasty Lazzini ballet under the title of concerto-quadrille who lives evolve even machinists City Opera - for clarinet, viola, for the horn, the trombone, the bassoon, the oboe, the fife and drums, the violin. As for his chamber music, it is not abundant as its Tomasi concerto repertoire but, for various configurations (wind quintet, reed trio, trio and string quartets and small ensembles) has written some fine pages some curious musicians have in their repertoire and that they would hear more often. The piano was not an instrument of choice for Henri Tomasi. It should be noted that short pieces of John Dean did not hesitate to create (but we do not know if he has long kept his repertoire), Landscape, puppets, a lullaby for which we do not know much. More personal, perhaps, this corner Claudinet, Easy Pieces (which happens to echo some of the Kings Walk which inspired so much the great Bizet), the composer created in 1948 but whose dedication, his son Claude, born that year there told me they had never played himself a beat!Other pages mark the life of Tomasi, showing the evolution of his style, a kind of asceticism leads, without ever losing its sense of solar colors, the profusion of the first pages of a rigorous expression in the final pages. We could compare this evolution - say Manara Concerto guitar - one that leads to a Manuel de Falla Life short, in almost monastic Harpsichord Concerto. Partitions Tomasi, lyrical, vocal, symphony, oratorio, etc.. I leave today for a shadow that has nothing derogatory, but I should like to mention two titles: the ballet Noces ash (1952) and Return to Tipasa (1966). The first is the ab-deafness of the war (his "bullshit" Prévert dare to say in one of his most beautiful poems) that jumps out at us, even in the absence of any stage performance, for this " Dies irae "which breaks up a rhythm of blues. And in the second work must know hear the wonderful lesson in hope of a sick man, disillusioned, his listeners that the partition in its conclusion, a surprisingly light bathes. Just when Tomasi a pathetic screams "I no longer hope in man. "He found sounds, modulations which give meaning to the words of Camus"I rediscovered the need to keep intact Tipasa itself a freshness, a source of joy, love the day that escapes injustice, and return to combat with this light conquered. "CARRYING sincere, sober, which left a lasting impression among those who lived in the posthumous creation ten years ago. In conclusionMaurice Fleuret, like all those who knew the composer, as all who have played or studied, playing and studying his music, very accurately identified the characteristics and motivations"I can only admire the strength and lyricism of this music, as I admire the rigor moral and political beliefs that inspired. "Words so just to prolong this concluding sentence of an essay on Tomasi appeared in the "Panorama musical" January / March 1969, under the signature of Christian Tournel, died before he could carry out the work undertaken on Henri Tomasi and his music"No free home, for never did Tomasi wrote a note by intellectual pleasure of discovery, but rather to achieve the agreement that creates intimate a particular emotion on his poetic soul. "Gabriel VIALLE (June / October 1995).
Google machine translation: Henri TOMASI's original bio

cover Noces de Cendres Robert Martin
Noces de Cendres
Henri TOMASI
Arr : Désiré DONDEYNE
Publisher : Robert Martin
Genre : Orchestra
Group : Prestige collection
Style & options : Original music
Set Wind Band (THOM04555-BA) : 240,00
Full score (THOM04555-CO) : 50,00