Three works for trumpet and orchestra, each one written in France by a composer whose life did not exceed the span of the 20th century, and each heavily influenced by the idiom of jazz. The apparent similarities are many, but philosophically these works come from very different places. Alfred Desenclos’ rigorous compositional style made him a favourite of the academy, frequently composing competition pieces for the Paris Conservatoire. Henri Tomasi by contrast, was ever the pragmatist, eschewing systems and methods in favour of a popular aesthetic. Meanwhile André Jolivet belonged to a movement that valued the spiritual aspect of music, and sought to express something of the universally primal through his work. Through three unique lenses, the works presented here offer a nuanced perspective on French musical thought and the growing importance of the solo trumpet in 20th century music.
January 27, 2015