Great review of Jolivet boxset in BBC Music Magazine
In the January 2005 issue of BBC Music Magazine
, the Warner Classics 4CD boxset of André Jolivet's work (2564 61320-2) receives a glowing, 4-star review from Christopher Dingle. He says:
'This splendid set makes an excellent starting point, unearthing a treasure trove of jewels from Erato's archive, in several cases featuring either the instrumentalist for whom the work was written, or its best-known advocate. There is Rostropovich's intense account of the masterful Second Cello Concerto, Jean-Pierre Rampal's fruity tones perfectly capturing the exoticisms of the flute works, and the inimitable Maurice André performing both trumpet concertos and two chamber works with typical élan, while Jolivet himself takes the baton for everything involving orchestra."
André Jolivet (1905-1974) was born in Montmartre and lived in Paris for most of his life. A talented cellist and a composer from his early teens, he subsequently became a chorister and studied cello and organ. He also studied composition, initially with Paul Le Flem who later introduced him to the composer who was to have the most decisive influence on Jolivet’s subsequent musical development: Edgard Varèse. Jolivet and Varèse, who became life-long friends, shared a fascination for ancient mythologies and exotic cultures.
Along with Olivier Messiaen, Jolivet rejected the Neo-classical, divertissement style that had dominated French music of the 1930s. Together with Daniel-Lesur and Ives Bandrier, they presented orchestral concerts under the name La Jeune France. At their first concert, in June 1936, they published a manifesto which confirmed their aim to foster new music with a “spirit of sincerity, generosity and artistic conscience”.
During the 1930s, Jolivet’s work explored his fascination with ancient mythologies, cosmic forces of the universe, ritualism of tribal ceremonial and magic incantations of primitive cultures. Following the outbreak of World War II, Jolivet’s music moved toward a language of greater lyricism. After 1945, he reconciled the dissonant experimentations of his early period with more accessible sounds; subsequent compositions are characterized by a new dissonance, rhythmic drive and instrumental virtuosity.
On these CDs, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Lily Laskine and Mstislav Rostropovich perform works written for or commissioned by them. The composer conducts all the orchestras with the exception of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, which is conducted by Alain Lombard.