Jolivet Ascèses for Solo Flute


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Jolivet Ascèses for Solo Flute

Jolivet Ascèses for Solo Flute

Five pieces
published by Billaudot
Jean Pierre Rampal Pour Flute Seule collection

André Jolivet

Jolivet (1905-1974) was a French composer known for his sophisticated and expressive experiments with rhythm and new sonorities. He initially had a keen interest in drama, painting, and literature but shifted his focus to music. He studied under avant-garde composer Edgard Varèse and other notable figures.

In 1935, Jolivet co-founded La Spirale, a contemporary chamber music organization that later became La Jeune France, dedicated to promoting modern, nationalistic music. His experiences during World War II in the French Army sparked a fascination with primitive religion and magic, which influenced his musical style.

In 1945, Jolivet became the music director of the Comédie-Française and developed an expressive melodic style. Notable works from this period include the virtuosic Concertino for Trumpet, Strings, and Piano (1948) and the symmetrical Flute Concerto (1949). Jolivet ventured beyond neoclassicism, exploring experimental avenues such as incorporating the Ondes Martenot, an electronic instrument, in his Concerto (1948) and employing complex orchestrations inspired by Africa, East Asia, and Polynesia in his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1951).

André Jolivet was deeply devoted to French culture and musical thought. He drew inspiration from acoustics, atonality, and ancient and modern musical influences, particularly instruments used in ancient times. His compositions encompassed various forms and were written for diverse ensembles.

Jolivet’s aesthetic ideals evolved over time, aiming to restore music to its original, ancient meaning as a magical and religious expression of human beliefs. Mana (1933), one of his early mature works, marked the beginning of his “magic period” and reflected his belief in the mystical power of music.

In addition to his compositions, Jolivet made significant contributions to teaching and founded the Centre Français d’Humanisme Musical. He held a teaching position at the Paris Conservatoire.


Jean-Pierre Rampal (1922-2000) renowned French flautist toured internationally, recorded a vast array of works involving the flute and in later years, took up conducting.

Rampal won a place to study at the Paris Conservatoire and later founded the French Wind Quintet before becoming Principal Flute of the Paris Opéra (1956–62). In 1968 he took up the post of Flute Professor at the Paris Conservatoire.

He enhanced the status of the flute as a concert instrument through his vast number of recordings from Baroque masterpieces to jazz. He was particularly known for his authentic interpretations of 18th Century music and for his editing skills with the music of the Baroque period.

Rampal’s autobiography, ‘Music, My Love’, was published in 1989.

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