Jean Rivier – Sonatine for Violin and Cello – Violette d’Ambrosio, violin – Paul d’Ambrosio, cello – Paris Radio – circa 1953 –
Music of Jean Rivier this weekend. His Sonatine for Violin and Cello with the d’Ambrosio sisters taking the honors in this Paris Radio performance, circa 1953.
“Jean Rivier (1896–1987), a twentieth-century French composer of the neo-classical school, is remembered primarily for his flute compositions. However, this prolific composer was extremely active in French musical circles from the period after World War I until his death. He composed over two hundred works, including symphonies, chamber music, concertos, choral music, piano works, music for solo instruments, and accompanied songs. For fourteen years, he shared with Darius Milhaud a position as Professor of Composition at the Paris Conservatory, and continued as sole professor from 1962 until his retirement in 1966. Rivier was a founding member of Triton, a musical society that promoted new music, and he was associated extensively with the French Radio (ORTF). Despite his successful career, Rivier’s music was often eclipsed by the increasingly avant-garde compositions of more progressive French composers.
Rivier’s songs are best represented by his twenty-nine published melodies or poemes, notable for their brevity, attention to detail, and their lyrical melodies, tonal harmonies with creative dissonances, and carefully structured forms (especially ABA forms). With music set to poems by Guillaume Apollinaire, Henri Mahaut, Arthur Rimbaud, Pierre de Ronsard, Clément Marot, Joachim du Bellay, Rene Chalupt, and Paul Gilson, the songs are characterized by quartal and quintal harmonies, modality, polychords, parallelism, contrasting moods, and expressive emotions.” – David Michael Tadlock, The published songs of Jean Rivier (dissertation)
This recording, featuring sisters Violette and Paul d’Ambrosio on violin and cello, respectively comes from a Paris Radio broadcast circa 1953. I confess to having no biographical information on either of the soloists – so any shedding of light would be greatly appreciated.
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