Andrè Jolivet (1905-1974)
Program note written by Jacob Farmer
Approximate Performance Time:
Advanced – appropriate for upper college undergraduates/master students/professional
André Jolivet, and Emmanuel Pahud. “Chant de Linos.” Paris – French Flute Music. n.d. MP3.
Bouriakov, Denis. “A. Jolivet: Chant De Linos.” YouTube. YouTube, 27 July 2011. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.
Guarnuccio, Bryan. “ANDRÉ JOLIVET’S CHANT DE LINOS (1944): A SENTENTIAL ANALYSIS.” Aug. 2006. Print.
André Jolivet showed musical talent at an early age, but his parents encouraged him to become a teacher. At age fourteen, he began cello lessons with Louis Feuillard and began to write music to his own poetry. Composers such as Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas, and Maurice Ravel made a long-lasting impression on young Jolivet. In 1920, he was accepted as a chorister by Abbé Théodas of Notre Dame de Clignancourt, where he was taught harmony and organ. He left that same year to pursue a degree in education. In 1928, he took composition lessons from Paul Le Flem. Jolivet’s first exposures to atonal sounds were in 1927, when he heard Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, and in 1929, with Varèse’s Amériques. He was struck by the sounds and forces of the orchestra and percussion. He then became Varèse’s only European student. Jolivet drew inspiration both from contemporary musical styles and from the sounds and rhythms of ancient music.
Chant de Linos was written in 1944 for the director of the Paris Conservatory, Claude Delvincourt, as the yearly exam piece and later dedicated to Gaston Crunelle. The piece contains melodic and rhythmic motifs based on Greek and Turkish folk tunes. His work is based off of the mythological story of the Greek god, Linus, the creator of melody and rhythm. In a way, the piece is mourning Linus’ death. Jolivet states that this piece “was in ancient Greece a variety of threnody: a funeral lamentation, a grieving interrupted by cries and dances.” The work clearly depicts the dances with rhythmic melodic motives and the cries are heard in the flute’s higher range melodies.