Composer of 'B'

Marc Berthomieu (1906-1991)

A French composer, poet, and a dramatist. He got into Paris Conservatory and has studied counterpoint with André Gedalge, fugue with Noël gallon, composing with Henri Busser and Paul Vidal, and harmony with Charles Sylvaile (Spell unclear). He has devoted his energy largely for education, such that he founded the Paris-15th district Conservatory in 1962. He has received a D.M. prize from SACEM (French association for copyright laws in arts) in 1973, Maurice Ivan Prize from SACD (dramatists and drama-composers' association) in 1977. Also he has received France Academy Prize, Leo Delibes Prize, and Roman Prize and so on. He was active as a writer and received Jean Coctot Prize in 1981. His compositional diction is based on French classical music (like baroque music) with hints of modernism in harmonic content. Although we come to have a few disc introducing his works recently, his compositions are largely unknown and are still awaiting re-discovery.

Main Works

Stage Works Tactics of Love marivaudage (-)
Koenigsmark koenigsmark (1969)
Rovère and Antèle Rovère et Antèle (-)
Chamber Recital and Scherzo recit et scherzo (1970) <bssn, p>
Musical Florals florilège musical (1973) <tp/vln/hrn/tb/vla/vc/b/fl/ob/cl/bssn, p>
Five Nuances cinq nuances (-) <fl, hrp>
Dance Music gaillarde (-) <vc, p>
Four Pieces quatre pièces (-) <cl, p>
Trilogy triptyque (-) <hrp>
Arcadia arcadie (-) <4fl>
Suite suite (-) <vc, p>
Andante and Rigaudon andante et rigaudon (-) <ob, p>
Cats chats (-) <3fl>
Three Themes trois thèmes (-) <fl, p (hrp)>
Four Miniatures quatre miniatures (-) <3fl>
Seven Vocalises sept vocalises (-) <fl>
Peacefully apaisement (-) <vc, p>
Air in A major aria en la majeur (-) <vc, p>
Bagatelle bagatelle (-) <fl, p>
Jewel Work camées (-) <vc, p>
Cantique of Joy cantilène d'été (-) <vc, p>
Two Small and Short Pieces deux pièces breves (-) <vc, p>
Two Recreations deux recreations (-) <fl, p>
Ports of Call escales (-) <fl, p>
War Interlude interlude martial (-) <tb, p>
La Sangria la sangria (-) <2g>
Musical Thoughts pensées musicales (-) <vln, p>
Small Dance Suite petit suite à danse (-) <4fl>
Small Suite for the Time of War petit suite martial (-) <tb, p>
Pursuance poursuite (-) <vc, p>
Message message (-) <2fl>
Four Movements quatre mouvements (-) <fl, vc, p>
Sarabande sarabande (-) <vc, p>
Sun and Joy soleil et joie (-) <vc, p>
Romantic Suite suite romantique (-) <fl, p>
Three Sketches trois esquisses (-) <4sax>
Short Suite suite brèves (-) <4sax>
Suite in Eolian Mode suite eolienne (-) <4fl>
Small Violin of Soul petit violon dans l'âme (-) <vln, p>
A Morning Glory volubilis (-) <sax, p>
Whirlpool volutes (-) <fl, p>
Piano Guapa guapa (-)
Hungarian Rhapsody rapsodie Hongroise (-)
A Capricious Donkey l'âne capricieux (-)
Prelude of a Fool prélude de Folet (-)
Songs Gardens of Paris jardins de Paris (-1979?) <btn, 2hrp, vla, 2fl, bssn, accordion, vc, p>
Seven Poems of Charles Olmont sept poèmes de Charles Oulmont (1946-1963) <vo, p>
Words and Things le mot et la chose (1946-1963) <vo, p>
The Eiffel Tower la tour Eiffel (1946-1963) <vo, p>
An Artist l'artiste (1946-1963) <vo, p>
My loved Missing Persons mes amours mortes (1946-1963) <vo, p>
My Lovely Daughter for Him il faut avoir aimé (1946-1963) <vo, p>
The Sweetness of This Love c'est un amour si doux (1946-1963) <vo, p>
Meditation recueillement (1946-1963) <vo, p>
Never Beloved You vous n'aimez pas (1946-1963) <vo, p>
My Familiar Dream mon rêve familier (1946-1963) <vo, p>
If I were Ronsard si j'étais Ronsard (1946-1963) <vo, p>
If I were d'Orléans si j'étais Charles d'Orléans (1946-1963) <vo, p>
Hill beside a Shore coline marinte (-) <vo, p>
A Feeding Bottle robert (-) <vo, p>
Snail Rondo ronde des escargots (-) <choir>

Berthomieu Disc Review

Jardins de Paris / Sept Poèmes de Charles Oulmont (Maguelone : MAG 111.101)
Gabriel Baquier (btn) Lily Laskine, Marielle Nordmann (hrp) Jean Leber (vln) Bruno Pasquier (vla) Roger Bourdin, Pierre-Yves Artaud (fl) Maurice Allard (bssn) Etienne Lorin (accordéon) René Benedetti (vc) Marc Berthomieu, Olivia Garnier (p)
As far as I know, this is the only recording devoted to his works. Performed by the tenor, Gabriel Baquier gave us impression for his recording of Ravel 'Natural Histories'. The former half of the disc, 'Jardin de Paris', and some songs were recorded in 1979 by the chamber ensemble consists of famous players such as Laskine, Nordmann, Pasquier, Allard, accompanied him. The latter half, 'Seven Poems', accompanied with piano by Olivia Garnier was recorded in 1996. The former one, Jardin de Paris, has simple classically rooted melodies moderated by modern harmonies. The composer's sense of fusion is favorable. However, the latter half songs reflect composer's anachronistic favor and they sound like Deutsche-Lied. Doctrinairistic and pre-modern. Because the latter half is recorded in 1996, Mr. Baquier also became old. His ability as a soloist is also become weak. That makes me feeling a bit empty.

"Interlude - Französische Musik für Flöte, Violine und Harfe :
Suite / Deux Ballades (Goossens) : Deux Préludes Romantiques / Promenade à l'Automne (Tournier) : Two Dances (Moyse) : Cinq Nuances / Triptyque (Berthomieu) : Entr'acte / Deux Interludes (Ibert)" (Thorofon : CTH 2194)

Hans-Jörg Wegner (fl) Marcus Honegger (vln) Ellen Wegner (hrp)

This is the disc that I encountered Berthomieu. Two soloists Mr. and Ms. Wegner are matrimonial and have studied at Hannover Conservatory. Violinist, Mr.Honegger is (was) the concert master of Schleswig-Holstein Chamber Ensemble. Although it is hard to guess why this French-centric selection came to have an idea from such the Deutsche-centric performers, you will understand the secret once you hear the fact that the harpist was an pupil of Chantal Mathieu in Lausanne (for your guidance, Ms. Mathieu is a grand-pupil of Marcel Tournier!!). Although we are not familiar with the performers, their performance is far better than expected (not excellent, but well-performed). Also, the dictions of selected composers are all modest, classical and peaceful. Adequately modern, but equally classical in form they will sure makes you are in a salon.

(Japanese Page Uploaded : 2002. 8. 6 / English Traslation : 2003. 4. 21)