FLUTE MUSIC FROM THE MID-TWENTIETH CENTURY BY THREE FRENCH COMPOSERS: JEAN-MICHEL DAMASE, ANDRE JOLIVET, AND HENRI TOMASI
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Jean-Michel Damase (b.1928), Andre Jolivet (1905-1974), and Henri Tomasi (1901-1971) are three prominent French composers ofthe twentieth century. Tomasi won the Prix de Rome in 1927, and Damase won the Prix de Rome in 1947. All three composers were educated and lived in Paris around the same period; however, their musical styles are quite distinct. Most of Jolivet's compositions for flute are well known and are often selected as international competition repertoire. The compositions for flute by Damase and Tomasi are not as recognized as those of Jolivet, and most of their works for flute still have not been commercially recorded. The purpose of this dissertation is to provide a more comprehensive guide to the compositions for flute by Damase, Jolivet and Tomasi, and, in addition, to make the works ofDamase and Tomasi familiar to flutists. This dissertation will focus on the compositions ofDamase, Jolivet, and Tomasi for flute alone and those for flute and piano, written between 1928 and 1971 (1928 is the year Damase was born, and 1971 is the year that Tomasi died). Damase continues French romanticism, and his music is always playful, elegant, and accessible with rhythmic and harmonic surprises, but with an underlying complexity. His compositions for flute include three concertos, two double concertos, one flute solo work, and nine works for flute and piano. Jolivet's compositions make use of ancient rituals, incantations, and spirituality, as well as repeated phrases and single notes, irregular rhythmic patterns, dissonant effects, and rhythmic drive. He composed one flute concerto, three works for flute solo, and four works for flute and piano. Tomasi's compositions also continue French romanticism and contain melodies which often seem to tell a story, and which are not only full of flourishes and vitality, but are also delicate, colorful, and romantic. Virtuosic technical demand is another characteristic of his style. Tomasi composed three flute concertos, three works for solo flute, and one work for flute and piano. Appendix I is a list of the compositions for flute by Damase, Jolivet, and Tomasi, and Appendix II is a discography of their works.